To food marketing problems in Sub-Saharan Africa
The organisation of food markets has proved quite a challenge. Neither the State-controlled models of recently independent countries, nor the “liberalised” models of recent decades have delivered on their promise. I have been at the forefront of the search for ways out of this conundrum, working closely with a range of counterparts.
Warehouse receipts and commodity-collateralised financing.
I have major experience with this topic, and this allows me to identify opportunities and the most promising approaches. I researched the subject widely and authored the first internationally available text on it in 1995 – see link, and this was translated into French – see link and Spanish – see link. I have worked on the topic in many countries including India, Ghana, Zambia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Cameroon, Mozambique, Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Brazil and Colombia. I have also drafted a bankers’ guide for the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
I have carried out some important reviews on the topic, including one on Eastern & Southern Africa initiatives, for UNCTAD, in 2009, as well as a nine-country study in which I partnered a London law firm and coordinated a series of local sub-contractors, for CTA, AFD and IFAD, in 2014.
I have examined the scope for commodity exchanges and/or reviewed past exchange initiatives, in Ethiopia, West Africa region, Nigeria and Mozambique, primarily focusing on mechanisms for delivering commodities against contracts. – See Link for report on Ethiopia.
Harnessing public procurement.
Starting in 2004, I advocated that food aid agencies operating in Africa use their procurement muscle to further leverage the development of food markets for the benefit of smallholder farmers and consumers – see link. In 2011, I participated in a review of the World Food Programme Purchase’s for Progress (P4P) initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other donors. P4P is being implemented in 21 countries and involves piloting alternative food procurement modalities.
Improving rural and on-farm storage of food commodities.
Farmer cooperation and contract farming.
From 1994 to 1999, I led a DFID-funded study on “Self-Help in the Provision of Agricultural Services”, examining the performance of co-operatives, self-help groups, and out-grower schemes. I have also examined and/or advised on contract-farming involving a variety of crops in Mozambique, Mali, Benin, India (Punjab) and Ghana.