With the majority of the population in sub-Saharan Africa engaged in agricultural production, small farms stand to play a critical role in the region’s economic growth. However, the promotion of agricultural commercialization in the region has met with varied levels of success. This paper consolidates large volumes of published and gray literature on agricultural commercialization in order to provide a concise source for policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to use in policy formulation, program development and implementation, and research agenda setting.
The review suggests that inclusive growth requires public-private partnerships that enhance not only market participation, but also market orientation and assistance for small farmers and others in the value chain such as traders and middlemen. The state should take a lead role in investments and programs to ensure that small farmers are effectively included, and that private players can effectively engage with them. The key challenge of this strategy for governments will be to ensure that small farmers can engage directly with high value markets.
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