Building Competiti...

Building Competitiveness in Africa's Agriculture

A guide to Value Chain Concepts and Applications

For many years and until quite recently, agriculture fell out of favor with development practitioners, receiving only 4 percent of official development assistance and 4 percent of public expenditure in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) (World Development Report [WDR] 2008). However, as exemplified by the 2008 WDR dedicated to Agriculture for Development, the development community has refocused on agriculture as an effective means of fighting poverty. This renewal of interest in agriculture has been further enhanced by the recent rise of global food prices.

The development and business communities recently have experienced a tremendous resurgence of interest in promoting value chains development as a way to add value, lower transaction costs, diversify rural economies, and contribute to increasing rural household incomes.

This Guide to value chain approaches provides the user with actionable methods and tools to design programs and investment projects that aim to increase the productivity and performance of sub-Saharan African agriculture. . Using real examples, this book reviews and illustrates a range of concepts, tools, and methodologies designing agricultural and agribusiness development initiatives that enhance productivity and competitiveness.



Seventy-five percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas and most are involved in agriculture. In the 21st century, agriculture remains fundamental to economic growth, poverty alleviation, and environmental sustainability. The World Bank’s Agriculture and Rural Development publication series presents recent analyses of issues that affect the role of agriculture, including livestock, fisheries, and forestry, as a source of economic development, rural livelihoods, and environmental services. This report is part of a series intended for practical application. To read other reports in this series, visit www.worldbank.org/ard.


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