Title:   Recent Trends in Europe’s Exports of Agro-food Products into Africa; Implication for Trade Policy Making in Africa

Introduction                                                                                                                                          The growing dominant trends of EU’s agro-food products on the African market and its implication for trade policy making in Africa can be properly understood within the context of the European Union’s Agricultural Reforms carried out over the years.

a. The Roots of EU Agricultural Reforms

Until the end of the Cold War European agricultural policy had been focussed on promoting European food security, with a strong emphasis on self-sufficiency. A system of high agricultural prices insulated from global prices by protectionist trade policies and supported by extensive public storage schemes and export support payments, kept European agro-food production domestically focussed. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the removal of a pre-eminent security threat to the EU it was recognised that policy reforms were necessary to equip EU agro-food sector enterprises to respond to shifting global patterns of food demand. From 1992, this saw the European Union (EU) pursuing a very gradual yet systematic reform of its agricultural policies.

Agricultural policy reforms announced in 1992, began a gradual shift from a system of price support to a system of direct aid payments to EU farmers. Guaranteed prices were gradually reduced, with direct aid payments to EU farmers being gradually increased, to partially compensate for income losses and to support a restructuring of agriculture in the EU. This restructuring aimed to shift production of particular commodities to the lowest production cost areas of the EU for that particular commodity.

b. The Case of Cereals Sector Reform: The Impact on Trade with Africa

This reform process was first initiated in the cereals sector. The cereals sector is at the heart of EU agricultural production, since it feeds into both domestic EU livestock production and the

For more information contact : Sylvester Bagooro, Third World Network-Africa, Box AN 19452, Accra. Tel: +233 269 613132. Email: sbagooro@twnafrica.org

Credit: TWN-Africa Study on The African Continental Free Trade Area, Brexit and EPA Implementation: Opportunities and Challenges Arising from the Brexit Process For Revising Economic Partnership Agreements with the EU in the Agro-Food Sector

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