Markets and trade

Activities in East and Southern Africa

Cross commodity

FAO commissioned the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) to assess public sector support mechanisms to leverage greater private sector involvement in poorly functioning value chains. The report reviews a variety of public-private partnerships designed to stimulate private investment both where existing participation in value chains is considered too limited and into the provision of services traditionally provided by the public sector. SOAS also prepared a review of types of smallholder farmers’ organizations and their contractual relations with other market actors. These studies informed FAO recommendations for the strategy development processes for selected commodities in the region



A cassava vendor at the Metundu Market in Lilongwe ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano / FAO

Cassava value chains

In Zambia, FAO is supporting the ITC led strategy development process for the cassava sector through participation in strategy development workshops and diagnostic studies. A value chain mapping and cost analysis survey was undertaken to better understand the linkages between fresh cassava production, on-farm processing and the formal processing sector.

The Programme Against Malnutrition collected data on cassava production and marketing by smallholders in Zambia. The results were presented at meetings with SOAS in Lusaka and FAO in Rome and a synthesis report of key lessons was prepared.

Drawing on the studies by Cadoni and PAM, a series of recommendations relating to the design and implementation of the Cassava sector strategy were developed. 

Grains markets
FAO is collaborating with the East Africa Grains Council (EAGF) to develop a better understanding in the region of the use and impacts of trade policy interventions on cereal value chain stakeholders. As a basis, two case studies on the impact of trade policies on the maize markets have been prepared.

To strengthen public-private dialogue relating to the use of trade policy instruments a regional workshop on the use and impact of policy interventions on cereal value chain stakeholders was organized.

Subsequently, EAGF developed an action plan for its policy advocacy activities, with guidance from FAO.

In follow-up, a value chain analysis and trade policy base line for Zimbabwe was undertaken by the University of Pretoria.

The study, in addition to eight commissioned by USAID COMPETE were discussed at a regional workshop in Entebbe, Uganda, co-sponsored by FAO, EAGC, USAID COMPETE, ACTESA, EAC and AGRA.

In support of enhanced private-public dialogue relating to the use of trade and related policy in ESA grain markets, a workshop on the benefits of adopting market based risk management instruments to mitigate import and export related risks in grain market.

Policy makers: