Ongoing transformations of agri-food systems in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are garnering considerable attention from policy-makers, researchers, and development partners. While a growing body of literature has examined transformations occurring within the farm production, processing and retail segments of the food systems, there has been surprisingly little attention to the so-called middle segments—trading and wholesaling. Beneficial changes in African grain markets hold considerable potential to improve livelihoods in the region, because grain-marketing costs typically account fo r 50-60% of the price paid for staple foods by African consumers (Jayne et al. 2010). This lack of empirical attention, particularly for staple cereals, is an important blind spot in our knowledge of recent transformations of these food systems.


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