Problem of West African Agriculture

Beyond chicken parts: What hinders Africa's agricultural products from competing

Obstacles to Africa's exports to the EU

Conversely, the continent's exports have to overcome various trade hurdles that affect Africa's chances of profiting from trade with Europe. The following are some relevant market access conditions for the EU that are still felt for agricultural products:

For example, high tariffs are still levied on certain agricultural products: the EU imposes 25 percent tariffs on rice, maize and other grains, processed sugar with 300 percent megazolls (2018), or imports of sorghum and corn seeds with specific weight tariffs (2014, 5.32 euros / Ton) (WTO, 2019; Wilkinson, 2018). An entry price procedure puts exports of certain types of fruit and vegetables at a disadvantage. African exports lose their competitive advantage if the import price falls below the so-called entry price, because a compensation mechanism then takes effect.

In recent years, the EU has made increasing use of food safety, animal or plant health (SPS) measures, which also affect agricultural imports from Africa. They are designed to prevent harmful fungi or viruses from being introduced in order to protect the life and health of people, animals and plants. But they can also serve the purposes of protectionism or trade promotion (Nicita and Gordon / 2013). In addition, the ‚Äúprecautionary principle‚ÄĚ is often used under the SPS agreement of the WTO in order to lower the upper limit for pesticide residues (maximum residue levels / MRLs) to the lower limit before risk concerns are sufficiently scientifically proven.