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Nigeria Launches New Corporate Governance Rating System

Posted in Anti-Corruption, Corporate and Investment, Current Events

            Earlier this month, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and Nigeria’s Convention on Business Integrity (CBi) announced the launch of a Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS) that will rank NSE-listed companies based on their corporate governance practices and anti-corruption policies.  The new rating system is designed to promote a more transparent business climate in Nigeria and to attract foreign investment by enabling individuals to better assess the corruption risks associated with NSE-listed companies.

            Corruption and weak corporate governance are significant inhibitors of investment in Africa, and Nigeria’s establishment of the CGRS is one of many recent efforts being made across Africa to improve corporate accounting and governance.  The CGRS will implement a multi-stakeholder approach to assess 190 of the NSE’s major listed companies, including Oando PLC, Total Nigeria PLC, and Unilever Nigeria PLC.  According to the Executive Director of CBi, Soji Apampa, the rating system incorporates information acquired through companies’ self-assessments, as well as the experiences of stakeholders and experts.  Rankings will reflect companies’ business policies, internal and external audit and controls, and transparency measures.  Individual board members will be subject to a test reflecting their understanding of their fiduciary duties, and regulators, investors, suppliers and employees will also be subject to interviews.

            The NSE’s Chief Executive, Oscar Onyema, has stated that in January 2015, NSE will also create a “Premium Board” listing major Nigerian companies that exhibit the highest standards of corporate governance, as reflected by the CGRS rankings.  By 2015, NSE hopes to use the CGRS rankings to develop and launch a tradable corporate governance index capturing all listed companies.  The current rankings, which were announced on November 3, 2014, reflect the 2013 – 2014 pilot phase of the system’s development, during which a number of listed companies voluntarily submitted to the CGRS assessment.  

            Despite the severe poverty experienced by many of its citizens, Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, with a GDP of $U.S. 510 billion and rich reserves of oil, natural gas, and other resources.  The country’s ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business report has improved, rising from 175 to 170 over the last year.  Nigeria boasts a significant emerging market and a booming population that is expected to exceed that of the United States’ by 2050.  In light of its unique demographic and economic circumstances, Nigeria’s battle against corruption and ability to attract foreign investment will undoubtedly influence the realization of its substantial economic potential.

Fighting Corruption to Achieve Security

Posted in Anti-Corruption, Current Events, Security

On October 23, 2014, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice, Leslie Caldwell, described the fight against corruption as “a necessary enforcement action to protect our own national security interests and the ability of our U.S. companies to compete on a global scale.”  These comments not only apply to the enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) but also highlight the long recognized notion that corruption can threaten peace and security.  Today, the threat posed by corruption to security is especially relevant to Africa and the Middle East.

Transparency International cites corruption as undermining the development of state authorities and institutions, which can make it easier for insurgents and terrorists to operate and grow.  Corruption is a particular concern for post-conflict countries, as TI cites a constant correlation between corruption and conflict.

Consider the numbers.  Out of the 50 countries listed on the FCPA Blog’s latest Corporate Investigations List, 19 are in Africa or the Middle East.  Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index has consistently ranked several countries in Africa and the Middle East as those with public sectors perceived to be more corrupt.  In TRACE International’s TRACE Matrix, a business bribery risk index, countries in Africa and the Middle East tend to be assigned higher overall risk scores.  And a recent survey published by the Pew Research Center and spanning a number of continents found that “Africans are far and away the most concerned about corruption (a median of 85%).”  A median of 71% of those polled in the Middle East ranked corruption as a top problem.

When state institutions become corruptible, not only can the lack of meaningful law enforcement set the stage for lawlessness, it can provide an especially attractive environment for terrorist elements to build, flourish, and spread.  The list of terrorist organizations currently operating in the Middle East and Africa is a long one, and includes:  the so-called Islamic State in the Levant, the Al-Nusra Front in Syria, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis in Egypt, Ansar Al-Sharia in Libya, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Al-Shabab in Somalia, and Boko Haram in Nigeria.  Many of these groups have gained prominence only in recent years.  A particularly pressing concern now is any actual or attempted cooperation between these groups.

Like the fight against terrorism, the fight against corruption has tackled the flow of money.  This is especially important for Africa.  According to Global Financial Integrity (GFI), economies in Africa have lost between $597 billion and $1.4 trillion in net resource transfers in the past three decades.  Another report from GFI found that for every year between 2002 and 2011, sub-Saharan Africa lost, on average, 5.7% of total gross domestic product (GDP) to illicit outflows.

While there is still much to be done to combat corruption in Africa and the Middle East, there have been some efforts on the ground.  In addition to a range of regional and national anti-corruption initiatives and bodies in place, notable recent developments include:  South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma being investigated for allegedly using $19 million in public funds to renovate his home; Ghana’s Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) finding that the government had paid $2.4 million to over 22,000 ghost workers and that officials at the national service secretariat had offered bribes to BNI officials; Nigeria planning to increase spending on its police force to curb corruption; and the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Jordan each receiving some praise for their respective efforts.  Similarly, a number of African and Middle Eastern states have countered terrorism by beefing up law enforcement, enacting legislation, monitoring financing, and coordinating with regional and global partners.

In the years to come, states in Africa and the Middle East will no doubt continue to be key partners in fighting corruption and striving for stronger global security.

Debate in the European Parliament on the European Commission’s Conflict Minerals Proposal

Posted in Public Policy and Government Affairs, Trade Controls and Policy

On November 6, the Committee on International Trade (INTA) of the European Parliament will have a first exchange of views on the proposal presented in March by the European Commission (EC) on “Minerals originating in conflict affected and high risk areas.” This is the European Union version of the so-called Dodd-Frank 1502 legislation in the United States, which, as of May of this year, imposes reporting obligations to end users of “conflict minerals” originating from the Great Lakes region in Central Africa.

The Commission proposal did not make too many waves when it was presented as it was essentially suggesting a non-binding regime, imposing no obligation to the end user. The draft regulation suggested a European Union system of self-certification for importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold who would choose to import “responsibly” into the Union. Importers would be required to exercise “due diligence” by monitoring and administering their purchases in line with the relevant Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines. To increase public accountability, a list of “responsible smelters and refiners” would be set up every year. Companies selling products containing these minerals would receive public procurement incentives while SMEs and the OECD would get financial support.

If the products covered are the same as those covered by Dodd Frank 1502, the geographical scope proposed by the European Commission is radically different. The scope covers all “conflict zones” in the world, not only the Great Lakes region. The Commission judged that focusing on a specific region would be politically difficult to justify and maintained that the global approach would not be overly problematic as the regime was voluntary. If the regulation had been made mandatory and reporting obligations had been imposed to the end users, it would raise new and complex questions, as was the case with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s implementation of Dodd Frank 1502.

Even if it was strongly criticized for its “lack of ambition” by a coalition of rights groups, including Global Witness and Amnesty International, the proposal is not likely to be changed by the new Juncker Commission; Cecilia Malmström, the new Trade Commissioner, and the Commissioner in charge of Development Neven Mimica, both confirmed at their hearing in the Parliament in October that they would stick to the voluntary regime proposed by Commissioner De Gucht.

In the European Parliament, echoing the reaction of the NGO coalition, many criticisms can be heard about this proposal. It is likely that serious attempts will be made to make the European regime mandatory, as is Dodd Frank but in this case, it would be applicable all over the world.

The first efforts in the Parliament will aim at widening the discussion. The Green Group has already asked that the proposal be not only under the competence of the Trade Committee but also the Development and the Foreign Affairs Committee. They have also challenged the legal basis, currently a Trade article, to have it based on articles relating to Development Co-ooperation.

The debate starts this week and will set the tone for further work. A hearing is already announced for the beginning of December in the Trade and Development Committees. The discussion is likely to continue next year until a consolidated Parliament position can be confronted with a “general approach” of the Council. The legislation indeed needs to be adopted in “co-decision” by the Parliament and the Council. Discussion in the Council will start soon under the Italian Presidency.

Africa’s Image and the Ebola Epidemic

Posted in Current Events, Public Health

During the African Leaders Summit in August, Brookings convened the panel discussion, “Africa’s Image and U.S. Perceptions in the 21st Century,” that included leading journalists and Africanists such as Helene Cooper of The New York Times, William Wallis of the Financial Times, Amadou Mahtar Ba of AllAfrica Global Media, John Prendergast of the Enough Campaign and the recording artist Akon.

One of the key messages coming from the panel was that Africa has many narratives. Given that there are 54 countries on the continent and more than 1 billion people, this would seem obvious.

However, it was Helene Cooper who observed that events in Africa seemed to be reflected through an American prism, perhaps more than any other region.

For example, when it was reported in late July that Americans Dr. Kent Brantly of Samaritan’s Purse and nurse Nancy Writebol of SIM had contracted Ebola, U.S. media focused almost exclusively on their welfare and their subsequent treatment at Emory University in Atlanta. Little was initially reported about the huge number of deaths already occurring in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the impact the death toll was having on those countries, and how the government and international community were even responding.

When Thomas Eric Duncan contracted Ebola, travelled to the United States from Liberia, was admitted to Texas Presbyterian Hospital and subsequently died, U.S. media was in blanket coverage mode. The U.S. response became a prominent issue in the U.S. election cycle even though the number of people with Ebola in the U.S. is less than 10.

In an October 6, Washington Post article, Paul Farhi poses the question about why Ebola became a “media superstar” when other diseases, such as the common flu, are deadlier and have more far-reaching consequences.

I would pose another question: Is it too late to prevent the Ebola story from becoming the defining image of Africa in the U.S. media, and the American mindset, for the foreseeable future?

In the run up to the Africa Leaders Summit, an alternative African narrative was taking hold. This narrative was defined by the fact that seven of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa, that a middle class of more than 300 million people has emerged on the continent and that democratic governance is increasingly widespread. Africa increasingly is being perceived as a continent of opportunity.

In fact, President Obama’s historic invitation to 50 leaders from Africa was a reflection of the fact that the continent had become one of the most dynamic and fastest growing regions in the world, and the U.S. had a new interest in stronger ties, especially in the areas of trade and investment.

Unfortunately, this vision of Africa was lost in the coverage of the Ebola outbreak during the summit. According to Africa Growth Initiative analysis, 36 percent of headlines from U.S. news outlets the week of the summit included the keyword “Ebola” whereas only 14 percent referred to the summit. In the days following the summit, tweets about Africa that excluded the keyword “Ebola” dwindled to less than 100,000 per day while tweets mentioning Ebola skyrocketed to over 500,000 per day. As a consequence of the Ebola epidemic, the American media has resurrected an image of Africa as a continent in crisis that dates to the 1970s and 1980s.

Even positive stories from the continent relating to Ebola receive scant attention. For example, Patrick Sawyer landed in Lagos, Nigeria on July 20 from Liberia and was already symptomatic, contagious and dying. Yet Nigeria prevented a further outbreak of Ebola by tracking down every person who might have had contact with Sawyer, and conducted 18,500 face-to-face interviews to assess potential symptoms. On October 20, the World Health Organization declared Nigeria Ebola free and applauded its “world-class epidemiological detective work.” This is a very different response to the tragic experience of Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas.

So what are the consequences of characterizing Africa’s 1 billion people by the circumstances of the 20 million who live in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea?

For one, it further isolates the U.S. from Africa at a time when there is strong competition from China, the European Union and other nations for the African market.

Second, it creates the sense that managing the Ebola crisis in the three African countries is the only issue with which the U.S. is concerned on the continent. While the Obama administration has mounted an appropriately strong response to the epidemic, the administration cannot lose sight of its other initiatives across Africa, such as Power Africa, Feed the Future, the Young African Leaders Initiative and, perhaps most immediate, the reauthorization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

With two years remaining, there is much that the administration can accomplish in Africa, especially in following up on the commitments made during the African Leaders Summit.

Finally, we need to begin preparing for a post-Ebola response and broad-scale economic recovery of the three most impacted countries. As President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia told The New York Times on October 30, “Right now, all the international attention is on Ebola … if we don’t focus on our economy, we will not be able to sustain” the attention on the economy once the epidemic winds down.

It is impossible to predict what the “new normal” will ultimately be in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. However, this is much is certain: Africa is a diverse, fast-changing and increasingly important continent. It would be a mistake to have our perception of the region defined, and limited, by the tragedy occurring in three countries.

Ghana Achieves “Zero Hunger”

Posted in Energy and Natural Resources, Food Security and Agriculture

Ghanaian officials announced this month that Ghana has achieved “zero hunger,” and are crediting this success to some of the policies of former Ghanaian president John Kufuor.  The Zero Hunger Challenge — a UN initiative that is supported by various Non-Governmental Organizations and foundations — aims to eliminate hunger through investments in agriculture, rural development, social protection, and equality of opportunity.  In particular, the challenge aims to achieve the following goals:

  •  Zero stunted children
  • 100% access to adequate food all year round
  • Sustainable food systems
  • 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income
  • Zero loss or waste of food

While it is not clear whether Ghana has met all of these specific benchmarks, it has made significant strides in increasing agricultural production, tackling deforestation, and increasing its per capita GDP, which has increased from $275 in 2001 to $1,850 in 2013.  A number of Kufuor’s policies are cited by the Thompson Reuters Foundation as reasons for this success:

Indeed, these efforts did not go unnoticed.  In 2011, Kufuor was awarded the World Food Prize for his efforts to improve food security and reduce poverty through public- and private-sector initiatives.  The list of Kufuor’s achievements at that time included helping Ghana to become the first sub-Saharan African country to cut in half the proportion of its people who suffer from hunger, and the creation of the Ghana School Feeding Program to provide nutritious meals to school children ages 4 to 14.  Ghana now as seen as role model for other countries, such as India, which are starting their own zero hunger campaigns.

The Missing Link in President Obama’s Africa Leaders Summit: Addressing the African, EU, US Conundrum

Posted in Public Policy and Government Affairs

The Africa Leaders Summit, held in Washington in early August, marked a welcome and important turning point as trade and investment became a top priority in US-African relations. At the same time, this development has placed the US and the EU on a collision course as it concerns trade with Africa.

From patronage to partnership

The transition in US-Africa relations began with the passage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in 2000. AGOA, which reduced US tariffs to zero on 6,400 products for 40 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, was important for introducing trade, light manufacturing and private sector-led investment as a stimulus for economic development. No longer would the US rely solely on traditional development assistance in its partnership with African nations.

While the administration of George W. Bush did dramatically ramp up the US aid relationship with Africa by funding the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief, first at US$15 bn and subsequently increased to US$48 bn, it was a legitimate and important response to a dire health crisis on the continent. The reality is that this type of aid response is not likely to occur again, even with the Ebola crisis posing such a threat in West Africa.

In addition to extending the life of AGOA from 2008 to 2015, the Bush Administration took other steps to move away from traditional development assistance as the primary US connection to Africa, principally through the creation of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Not only was the MCC a vehicle for making large scale investments, via grants, in African nations, it did so according to a rigorous set of governance criteria. The ease of doing business and the role of the private sector became important indicators for determining the allocation of MCC grants.

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Ebola Spurs Global Cooperation to Prevent, Detect and Respond to Future Health Crises

Posted in Public Health

This post was authored by  Anne Pence.

Well before Ron Klain was named as the U.S. Ebola czar, the USG was urging the international community to confront the fact that the world is not ready for a deadly pandemic of any sort, much less one as daunting as Ebola.  Aware that Ebola alone could kill over 1 million people if international efforts fail, President Obama — joined by Secretary of State Kerry, Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell, Secretary of Defense Hagel, and his National Security Advisor Susan Rice — met on September 26 to discuss global health security with Ministers and experts from 44 nations, the World Bank, the UN World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

President Obama challenged participants that, “… it is unacceptable if, because of lack of preparedness and planning and global coordination, people are dying when they don’t have to.”  In his call to action, President Obama referenced not only Ebola, but many other deadly biologic threats from superbugs to terrorists seeking to use biological weapons.  He warned that, “in a world as interconnected as ours, outbreaks anywhere…have the potential to impact everybody, every nation.” Political, financial, legal and regulatory changes to accelerate and facilitate private investment and international cooperation are now under discussion.

The President and Cabinet members cited security, humanitarian and economic threats posed by global health disasters, which could easily dwarf the costs of terrorism. “Never has it been clearer that the world’s health security depends on paying attention to our weakest links,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said.  Even the United States is unprepared.  The Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reported that DHS does not have adequate supplies of ready to use equipment and drugs or effective procedures in place to undertake critical operations during a pandemic.[iv]  Yet, the US is helping to lead the way forward globally.

“Together, our countries have made over 100 commitments both to strengthen our own security and to work with each other to strengthen the security of all countries’ public health systems,” the President said.  These commitments address 11 “Lines of Action” which focus on making progress within five years to combat anti-microbial resistance, improve biosecurity, prevent animal-to-human disease transmission, ensure effective immunization systems, accelerate detection, diagnosis and information-sharing regarding public health threats and to develop work force competencies and emergency facilities, procedures and relevant policy and legal structures. Going forward, 10 countries have agreed to serve on the GHSA Steering Group.  Chaired by Finland in 2015, it includes Canada, Chile, Finland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Korea, the United States and international organizations.

The private sector can and must play a key role in developing, producing and supplying medicines, medical devices and technologies, health information systems, protective gear, disinfectants, management systems, waste disposal technologies, etc.  As these efforts ramp up over the next 5 years, substantial new resources and incentives (public, philanthropic and private) will flow into these activities — and efforts to strengthen health systems –  worldwide.  Laws, regulations and procedures will change to enable more effective action and investment and the private sector will want to engage vigorously in the process.

IBM and Metropolitan Health Announce Africa’s First Commercial Application of Watson Engagement Advisor

Posted in Consumer Products and Goods, Corporate and Investment, Current Events, Public Health

IBM and Metropolitan Health–one of South Africa’s largest financial services and healthcare companies–recently announced Africa’s first commercial application of IBM’s Watson Engagement Advisor (“Watson”).  Watson is a potentially revolutionary cognitive computing application that can “comprehend” a question posed to it in natural language, process relevant data equivalent to about one million books, and provide a tailored, evidence-based response to the query, all in approximately three seconds.  In South Africa, the application will function as a “virtual coach” to supplement the healthcare advice provided by Metropolitan Health’s Customer Service Agents, who assist approximately three million clients annually.  The IBM application is currently being used in over 25 countries around the world to provide services in a variety of industries, but its ability to generate personalized, fast, and comprehensive healthcare information could make it particularly impactful within the African healthcare sector.  

Africa shoulders a disproportionate share of the world’s disease burden, and cognitive computing platforms like Watson could enable healthcare providers to better surmount the financial, geographical, educational and human resource obstacles that currently limit African’s access to healthcare.  Watson conveys information through a cloud or mobile device, thereby giving clients access to Big Data that can assist them in making informed healthcare decisions at any time and in any location equipped with a mobile or cloud connection.  Cognitive analytical platforms learn from experiences and actually process information faster as they gain new information.  As a result, the consistent usage of Watson should eventually allow the platform to proactively share healthcare information with clients and to anticipate client concerns, consequently shortening the number of visits required to a health facility and potentially expediting the treatment process.

The use of mobile devices and applications to fight disease and provide medical advice in Africa is not new; telemedicine services that connect Africans to doctors abroad, and the use of mobile apps to track contagious diseases like the Ebola virus have all been successfully relied upon.  However, the adaptability of cognitive computing platforms could open new possibilities for healthcare interactions, particularly if these platforms became adept at “speaking” multiple languages. 

In addition to launching Watson in South Africa, IBM will open a global Watson headquarters in New York, create five new Watson Client Experience Centers around the world, and develop a Watson platform that “speaks” Spanish.  The field of cognitive analytics is still in its early stages of development, yet these announcements clearly indicate IBM’s intentions to become a leader in the global cognitive computing industry, and the company’s confidence in computer analytics’ ability to transform client services around the globe.  

World Bank Identifies Prospects and Challenges for Sub-Saharan Africa

Posted in Corporate and Investment, Current Events

The October 2014 Africa’s Pulse released by The World Bank confirms that economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be strong.  The average growth in the region is projected to increase to 5.2 percent during 2015-16 (up from 4.6 percent in 2014) and to 5.3 percent in 2017.  Some markets and industries are looking to be more promising than others but certain regional challenges continue to present unknown variables.

The Markets. Although growth in the region generally remains favorable, the differing fortunes of the region’s largest economies has moderated that growth.  Economic activity in Nigeria remains robust with the growth strengthening from 6.2 percent in the first quarter to 6.5 percent in the second quarter.  Low-income countries — including Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Tanzania — also enjoyed healthy economic growth.  In contrast, the economies of South Africa, Angola, and Ghana each experienced far more modest expansion.

The Industries. The primary drivers of growth are significant public infrastructure investment (e.g., power, ports, and transportation), “a rebound in agriculture,” and the services sector (e.g., telecommunications, financial services, and tourism).  Importantly, the services sector has been “the big gainer” in the region’s economic transformation and presents “an important path” for economic diversification and accelerating poverty reduction.  However, weak global growth (and related factors) has resulted in a decrease in foreign direct investment, which is an important financing source for all of these industries.

Regional Challenges. The Ebola outbreak has ravaged economic activities in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.  Initial estimates are that the combined output loss to the countries could total $359 million, which would translate to a 3 percent drop in the GDP growth of Sierra Leone and a halving of the GDP growth of both Guinea and Liberia.  This crisis must be addressed and the private sector should play a critical role.  Provided rapid control of further contagion, regional spillover is projected to be modest and limited to Ghana and Nigeria, which already has contained the outbreak.  However, a slower containment presents a far more dire scenario for the countries and the region.  Regional disruptions also may result from further intensification of the conflict in South Sudan and/or the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.

Contract Farming Increases Productivity, Reduces Post-Harvest Loss

Posted in Food Security and Agriculture

Agricultural experts recently gathered in Tanzania to urge African government officials to adopt and improve contract farming in their countries.  Government officials should consider heeding these calls as should smallholder farmers and the private sector.  Contract farming presents a prime opportunity to achieve food security in Africa both by increasing productivity and reducing post-harvest loss.

According to the International Food Policy Research Institute, contract farming can encourage agricultural productivity by addressing a variety of constraints faced by smallholder farmers.  By agreeing upfront to purchase a particular quantity of product at a particular price, buyers provide farmers with valuable market information that reduces the commercial risk of underproduction or overproduction.  Buyers also can provide inputs (on credit), extension services, or other technical assistance to assist farmers who lack the liquidity or technical know-how to realize the full potential of their holdings.  Ultimately, contract farming is an effective “tool to organize and link production capacities and market needs to increase and diversify the availability of products on local and global markets, and to improve value chain efficiency.”

With estimates that nearly one-fourth of available food in Sub-Saharan Africa is lost or wasted, post-harvest loss presents as daunting a challenge as increasing productivity.  Furthermore, this loss has a negative impact across the entire value chain since it reduces the income of value chain actors by as much as 15% and potential consumers lose an average of 545 kilocalories per person per day.  The Global Knowledge Initiative has identified improvements in contract farming as one of the top ten “potential big win opportunities” for reducing post-harvest loss in Africa.  In particular, improving these mechanisms can “help mitigate the risks that can come from these arrangements, such as side selling (by farmers) and unbalanced leverage (by buyers).”

By increasing productivity and reducing post-harvest loss, contract farming addresses two fundamental pillars to achieving food security.  It also presents a win-win-win for government, business, and smallholder farmers in a way that ultimately accrues to communities at large.