Mercados y Comercio

A quantitative analysis of trends in agricultural and food global value chains (GVCs)

Background paper for The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO) 2020

Year of publication2020
AbstractOver the last decade, increasing international fragmentation of production has affected both trade and production: these activities have become increasingly organized around what is commonly referred to as global value chains (GVCs). Increased fragmentation has brought with it challenges of tracing and measuring international divisions of labor, value-added, and so forth. In fact, conventional measures of trade only measure the gross value of exchanges between partners. They are not able to reveal how foreign producers, upstream in the value chain, are connected to final consumers at the end of the value chain. The aim of this paper is to use a globally consistent set of country-level data on GVC participation positioning in the agri-food sectors to distill global and regional trends in GVC participation between 1995-2015. It also focuses on five selected countries: Brazil, Germany, Ghana, Nepal, and Viet Nam - to illustrate how country-specific characteristics affect GVC participation trends as well as identify major differences across countries. This is the first time such a detailed trend analysis has been carried out for the agricultural and food sectors, with near-universal regional coverage, and covering two decades. The authors suggest that the inter-temporal and cross-country trends identified in this paper can contribute to derive insights into development pathways for low-and middle-income countries, as well as identify how key characteristics of countries will affect the way it uses international trade to boost domestic agricultural productivity growth.
Available inEnglish
ThemeAgricultural Commodities and Development
Product typeBook (stand-alone)
SeriesThe State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO)
Areas of workEmerging Trends, Challenges and Opportunities
Keywordsagrifood sector; value chains; participatory approaches; trade; trends; quantitative analysis; case studies; Developing countries