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February 22nd, 2018 / UNTAD

Basic crops grown in Africa can be made into higher-value products, whether it’s by bagging tea or turning potatoes into frozen French fries, creating jobs and fueling growth in the continent, according to a recent UNCTAD assessment of the continent’s food trade.

The potential of basic crops to form such agricultural “value chains” remains untapped in several sectors, the assessment said.

The assessment, part of the report From Regional Economic Communities to a Continental Free Trade Area, also looked at highly-traded commodities in Africa such as avocados, cashews, onions, pineapples, beef and poultry.

The findings provide useful insight for trade negotiators ironing out agricultural policies for Africa’s Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) ahead of a March 2018 summit of African leaders in Kigali, Rwanda, where the deal is due to be signed. Read more