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Global and Local Food Value Chains in Africa

The rapid expansion of agri‐food exports from low‐ and middle‐income countries and the contribution of global value chains to rural development is well‐documented in the literature. Also studies on modernization of domestic food value chains in these countries are emerging. Yet, the linkages between global and local value chains are rarely studied. On the one hand, the development and expansion of global value chains may create competition with local value chains for land, labor, water, soil nutrients and other resources. On the other hand, positive spillover effects, such as investment, technical or institutional spillovers, may occur and spur the development of local value chains. In this paper we put forward a conceptual discussion on the type of linkages between global and local value chains, and how these depend on crop and value chain characteristics. We review the empirical evidence on these linkages. Our focus is on Africa, where agri‐food exports and global value chains evolved rapidly and where challenges remain to upgrade and increase efficiency in local food value chains.