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Booms, Busts, and Emerging Markets for Potatoes in East and Central Africa 1961–2010

Abstract

Potato production expanded more rapidly in Africa than in any other region of the world in recent years. This paper examines that phenomenon by focusing on the evolution of potato production, utilization, and trade in East and Central Africa. Based on an analysis of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations annual secondary data over nearly the last 50 years complemented by a review of the literature, the findings note that the long-term upward trends in production and area harvested contrast with the sharp decline in the growth rates for output, area, and yields over the last decade. In recent years, output grew rapidly in some countries and declined in others. Emerging markets include fresh potatoes as well as French fries and crisps for the growing number of urban consumers and improved quality seed. The paper concludes with a series of policy recommendations aimed at catalyzing improvements in productivity and marketing as well as capitalizing on opportunities for industry.

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Henry Juarez of CIP’s Research Informatics Unit for sharing the revised map of potato production in Africa.

NB

Several of the reports and unpublished documents cited in this paper can be accessed via the virtual library of the International Potato Center (CIP) (http://www.cipotato.org).

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Scott, G.J., Labarta, R. & Suarez, V. Booms, Busts, and Emerging Markets for Potatoes in East and Central Africa 1961–2010. Potato Res. 56, 205–236 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11540-013-9240-2

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Keywords

  • Consumption
  • Private sector
  • Processing
  • Production
  • Technology
  • Trade