To facilitate increased access to inputs, services and markets for animals and animal products.
Producers of animal resources in Africa face many challenges to accessing internal and external markets. Among the challenges are poor transport and market infrastructure, high transaction costs, weak value addition and high post-harvest losses especially in the dairy sector, weak capacity to comply with requirements of importing countries and international standards, poor storage facilities and landing infrastructure, insufficient market information, intra-regional trade barriers and trade-distorting subsidies and market protection by most developed countries.
Markets are increasingly becoming consumer-driven and influenced by sanitary and quality requirements. This places high demands on producers with little innovative capacity to access lucrative markets. Moreover, the business service sector in many developing countries does not facilitate access to lucrative markets by small-scale producers. The growing vertical integration of the animal resources value chains with the supermarkets has brought additional challenges and opportunities for African animal producers, though they may exclude the smaller producers. The disproportionately low share of livestock and fish in the overall agricultural development and investment budgets, and the relative lack of competitiveness of smallholder livestock producers and fisher-folk in domestic, regional and international markets are major constraints to the development of a thriving, market-oriented animal sector in Africa. Understanding value chains, building the capacities of the actors through specialization and linking them through communication tools to exchange information on potentialities for trade in animal and animal products are key elements in the development and promotion of intra-African trade in animal commodities.
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