The Rise of Supermarkets in Africa: Implications for Agrifood Systems and the Rural Poor

23 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2003

See all articles by Dave D. Weatherspoon

Dave D. Weatherspoon

Michigan State University

Thomas Reardon

Michigan State University - Department of Agricultural Economics

Abstract

The rise of supermarkets in Africa since the mid-1990s is transforming the food retail sector. Supermarkets have spread fast in Southern and Eastern Africa, already proliferating beyond middle-class big-city markets into smaller towns and poorer areas. Supplying supermarkets presents both potentially large opportunities and big challenges for producers. Supermarkets' procurement systems involve purchase consolidation, a shift to specialised wholesalers, and tough quality and safety standards. To meet these requirements, producers have to make investments and adopt new practices. This is hardest for small producers, who risk exclusion from dynamic urban markets increasingly dominated by supermarkets. There is thus an urgent need for development programmes and policies to assist them in adopting the new practices that these procurement systems demand.

Suggested Citation

Weatherspoon, Dave D. and Reardon, Thomas A., The Rise of Supermarkets in Africa: Implications for Agrifood Systems and the Rural Poor. Development Policy Review, Vol. 21, pp. 333-355, May 2003, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=410968

Dave D. Weatherspoon (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

Thomas A. Reardon

Michigan State University - Department of Agricultural Economics ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
517-355-1521 (Phone)
517-432-1800 (Fax)

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