The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has issued a new report, Roadmap for U.S.-Africa Trade Policies to Advance Food Security and Benefit U.S. Farmers and Agrifood Businesses. The report discusses strategies that focus on how “U.S. trade policy could advance food security in Africa and position American businesses to tap a burgeoning African agriculture and food market, which is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2030.” The press release announcing the report is available here.
Key recommendations that embrace the theme “Grow Markets, Fight Hunger” include bolstering regional trade and “harmonizing food standards” and regulations across countries. The report’s authors argue that this would drive economic growth while improving the availability and affordability of nutritious foods throughout Africa. They note that 80% of Africans work in the agriculture and food sector, and that one quarter of the continent’s total population remains “chronically undernourished.”
“The U.S. government has wisely invested approximately $1 billion annually since 2008 in generating growth in Africa’s agriculture and food sector to advance global food security,” said Doug Bereuter, president emeritus of The Asia Foundation and co-chair of the Council’s project on global food security. “More Africans can gain access to a reliable and affordable source of food if we can align U.S. trade policies with its food security investments.”
The study recommends that U.S. trade policy focus on several goals, including: enabling access to modern seeds and technologies by smallholder farmers; moving food more cheaply and efficiently across African borders; eliminating barriers to regional markets; and improving the legal environment for investment.
The full report is available here. It is the latest in a series of Chicago Council studies on global food security and the role of agriculture and food in low- and middle-income countries.