Policy Pathways for Inclusive and Sustainable Tropical Agriculture: Experiences From Brazil and Africa

Ahmed Ouhnini (Policy Center for the New South), Larissa Wachholz (Brazilian Center for International Relations), Bruno Brasil (Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock)
This Policy Brief was first published in https://t20ind.org


Supportive policies for tropical agriculture have helped millions of small- scale farmers in Brazil step out of poverty by improving government capacity to design legal frameworks to strengthen agricultural production and family farming. Scientific and technological developments have enabled small-scale Brazilian farmers to produce food while considering local tropical conditions. In contrast, tropical agriculture stakeholders in Africa continue to face structural challenges to productivity levels. The persistent technological gap between tropical nations in Africa and industrialised countries hinders the capacity of local producers to compete with major traditional tropical crop exporters under the current free trade conditions. Although tropical farming has evolved differently in Latin America and Africa, farmers in the two regions face similar challenges, such as insufficient investments in infrastructure, tropical deforestation as a result of economic incentives, and significant rural poverty. In many countries, promoting tropical agriculture is not a priority for governments and public policies, which results in a lack of strategy and structured investments. Brazil and Africa could meet the increase in demand expected for tropical products, such as food and fibres, by 2050. Considering that both the country and the continent are important players in global food production systems, Brazil and Africa both have significant potential to increase their production of tropical products to meet future demand. To achieve this, the sector needs structured investment and strategically aligned policies to lay the ground for a prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable tropical agriculture. This Policy Brief compares the position of both regions within global commodity value chains and investigates additional factors that could explain successes and failures, as well as highlight best practices to promote inclusive markets for tropical farming, define prospects for underexploited new market opportunities, and identify relevant instruments to reach common goals.


Ahmed Ouhnini (Policy Center for the New South), Larissa Wachholz (Brazilian Center for International Relations), Bruno Brasil (Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock)

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