Agricultural growth corridors in sub-Saharan Africa – new hope for agricultural transformation and rural development?

Michael Brüntrup
2019
#Agriculture and food
#Trade and FDI
#Sub-saharan Africa

Agricultural growth corridors – areas along a central transport line that receive intensive agricultural investments – are a recent approach to economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. Since they are usually planned and managed as strategic private-public partnerships, they promise to bring together expertise, funding and coordination that are usually dispersed and aim to benefit from multiple synergies that arise. There are, however, huge pitfalls to overcome: on the input side the challenges of complex planning and implementation with unequal partners with very different capacities, expectations and time horizons and on the outcome side risks of social exclusion, land grabbing and ecological stress. At the same time, the problems of a conducive environment for agriculture and investment can only partially be overcome by a corridor approach. This chapter brings together literature on geographical approaches to rural development as well as empirical evidence from the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT). A set of policy conclusions is derived, generally keeping up the principles but recommending starting with small units, flexibility of products and partners and seed money for public investments.

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