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Asmita Parshotam

Independent Consultant

Asmita Parshotam is an admitted attorney, currently working as an international trade and development expert. She is a well-recognised author and is widely published in peer-revised journals. She also has an extensive media engagement history, including interviews with the BBC, SABC, eNCA, CNBC Africa and publications with Project Syndicate. Asmita’s work is rooted in comprehensive policy and research analysis and practical implementation of political economy issues in her work with government partners. She has expertise in trade and gender issues, digital trade, trade and investment, agricultural value chain creation in Southern Africa, multilateral and mega-regional trade agreements, and SME development. Asmita has previously worked at the World Trade Organisation, the European Centre for Development Policy Management in the Netherlands and the South African Institute of International Affairs in Johannesburg.
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publication
Economic Growth Corridors Through a Value-Chain Lens: The Case of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor in Tanzania

Tanzania’s Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor (SAGCOT) is a role-model economic growth corridor (EGC). It aims at easing the incorporation of smallholder farmers into global and regional value chains through partnerships with larger agricultural companies. EGCs in general and SAGCOT in particular are not only about upgrading infrastructure. They in fact address numerous challenges to local producers, including the lack of finance and knowledge relating to markets and production as well as their low bargaining power in global value chains (GVCs). This chapter starts with a summary of the conceptual literature on GVCs, of global production networks as well as of Kaplinsky’s understanding of power dynamics within GVCs. The authors then assess SAGCOT, showing how the initiative seeks to address existing inequalities and unfavourable power dynamics in GVC development. Potential challenges that SAGCOT faces are discussed, and corresponding policy recommendations given.

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publication
Cultivating Smallholder Inclusion in Southern Africa’s Macadamia Nut Value Chains

This paper examines the potential for developing a macadamia nut value chain within Southern Africa, while also exploring the potential for incorporating smallholder producers into the macadamia nut industry. Using the country case studies of South Africa, Mozambique and Malawi, the paper examines the development of the macadamia nut sector in each country, highlighting the challenges faced and positive developments made in incorporating smallholders into the sector, and examining the role of African markets and producers in the international trade in macadamia nuts. The paper concludes with an understanding of the specific requirements policymakers would need to implement if a regional value chain were to be developed for the macadamia nut industry.

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