Sub Saharan African agriculture is currently facing challenges in international trade with respect to external market access conditions and competition in world markets as a result of trade liberalization efforts under the world trade organization (WTO) agreements and in particular the agreement on agriculture (AoA). This paper presents the performance of agricultural exports for selected countries and indicates external market barriers faced and the resulting implications of the barriers on WTO Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations. The composition of agricultural exports and markets shows that exports from Sub Saharan Africa are less diversified with only five commodities mainly coffee, cocoa, cotton, hides and skins, and horticultural crops dominating in most countries. Markets are also concentrated on only a few countries with the European Union being a major market although intra Africa trade has increased in recent years because of regional integration efforts. Important external market access barriers faced are tariff peaks and escalation particularly for agro-processed and livestock products in developed countries and non tariff barriers particularly sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and technical barriers to trade (TBTs) measures, safeguard and anti-dumping measures, and domestic and export subsidies on agricultural products for developed countries. The performance of agricultural exports from Sub Saharan Africa based on production and value for the period 1990 to 2000 shows mixed trends across countries and commodities. In general, there has been an increase in production and exports of non-traditional commodities but exports of traditional exports for some countries show an increasing trend while for others they have stagnated or even declined due to declining world market prices and domestic marketing problems. In conclusion, the future of increased exports from Sub Saharan Africa countries lies in value adding for traditional commodities and diversification to non-traditional products such as flowers, fruits and, fish and fish products. Thus, tariff escalation and peaks for agro-processed products and NBTs such as SPS and TBT are important issues to be focused on during multilateral trade negotiations, as they are major barriers to increasing exports from Sub Saharan Africa. Domestic and export subsidies in developed countries are also of concern because they reduce the competitiveness of products from Sub Saharan Africa by depressing world market prices besides making it difficult for these countries to diversify their agriculture.


Downloads Statistics

Download Full History