Africa needs to focus on agriculture: UN
Geneva, September 17, 2008
African countries need to concentrate on agriculture, said the United Nations in a report.
The state must play a bigger role to help the private sector seize opportunities in the key agriculture sector, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said.
The UN body also found that 'Export performance in African countries following trade liberalisation has been disappointing.'
In agricultural trade, liberalisation was not accompanied by policies to enhance productivity, output and exports, it said.
Africa remains dependent on traditional bulk agricultural commodities for the bulk of its export earnings even though it has been losing market share here to other developing countries.
It is starting to export more dynamic products such as fresh vegetables, but the private sector is not able to develop these markets on its own, UNCTAD said.
Hence the state has a role to improve productivity and efficiency by increasing investment in research and infrastructure such as roads and irrigation.
Since the mid-1980s, most African countries have liberalised trade through measures such as devaluing overvalued currencies, easing foreign currency controls, removing import and export licences, cutting tariffs, eliminating export duties, and dismantling marketing boards.
But African countries saw smaller increases in imports and exports than other developing nations that undertook similar measures, UNCTAD said.-Reuters
More Miscellaneous Stories
- Dubai chamber F&B group sets roadmap for 2014
- Feminisation drive costs $213m to Saudi firms
- US interiors firm opens MEA base in Dubai
- Saudi 'spends $1.6bn on energy drinks'
- Farmer is jailed for raping housemaid in Bahrain
- Bahraini mother recounts firebombs agony
- Guard foils masked ATM robbers in Bahrain
- Bahraini on Arab world's 'most powerful women' list
- Latest kitchen technology at Sharjah event
- Number of HNWIs in Africa to double by 2023
- World boxing legend to visit Bahrain
- UAE road accidents decline by 23.5pc
- Top businesswomen in Bahrain honoured
- Death penalty sought for Bahrain terrorists
- Girl, 9, dies after fall from 8th floor in Abu Dhabi
- Lebanese café brand opens Dubai outlet
- Bahrain poultry firm told to step up safety
- Customer dies in Bahrain cafe brawl
- Bahraini boys hurt while planting bombs
- Philips, Ericsson launch LED street lighting
- DuBiotech to set up first Halal safety lab
- Jotun to supply coatings for Makkah Station
- Raytheon wins $655m Kuwait Patriot deal
- Alwaleed Foundation lights up 3 Saudi villages
- Poultry farms strike may trigger shortages in Bahrain
- Oman seals Victoria food security pact
- Saudi woman, 80, donates $133m to charity
- New Saudi clamp on energy drinks
- Outrage follows Bahrain killer bomb
- Improvised explosive device used in Bahrain attack