Munich Personal RePEc Archive

COMESA’s Revealed Comparative Advantage in Common Agricultural Commodities

Sukati, Mphumuzi (2016): COMESA’s Revealed Comparative Advantage in Common Agricultural Commodities.

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Abstract

The paper undertakes an analysis of Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) for common agricultural commodities in the COMESA Region. The aim of the analysis is firstly, to determine the level of agro-processing in the region; and secondly, in support of the COMESA industrial policy and strategy, to identify commodities countries could focus on in setting up agro-food industries. To address these two issues, RCA is determined for selected agricultural commodities, which are divided into raw/semi processed and highly processed food stuff. Results reveal that many COMESA Member States show strong RCA in raw or semi-processed agricultural commodities with little or no corresponding RCA in highly processed derivatives of those commodities. In general, very few countries in the COMESA region show strong RCA in highly processed and diversified food commodities. This means that there is still a large scope for agro-processing, especially using the abundant traded raw materials. Countries can focus on agro-industries where they show strong RCA in the corresponding raw material base or precursor. Agro-industrialization can help reverse the negative trade balance in processed food commodities that the region is currently experiencing.

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