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Managing Agricultural Commercialization for Inclusive Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Name of the Asset | Managing Agricultural Commercialization for Inclusive Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa
Type of Asset | Working Paper
Date | June 2013


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. 

  • Johann Kirsten (University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa), Mariam Mapila (Putting People First, Malawi )
  • Julius Okello (University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya), Sourovi De (University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)
Country and/or Region | Sub-Saharan Africa
Name of the Program | Supporting Policy Research to Inform Agricultural Policy in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia
Funder(s) | The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  
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