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Local agrifood systems : a territorial approach to small enterprises in the Africanfood sector

Sautier D.. 2000. In : IDRC. Proverty livelihoods and enterprise development in a globalizing economy : research directions in Africa and the middle east : IDRC Planning Meeting, Cape Town, april 13-15, 2000. s.l. : s.n., 17 p.. IDRC Planning Meeting on Poverty, Livelihoods and Entreprise Development in a Globalizing Economy : Research Direction in Africa and the Middle East, 2000-04-13/2000-04-15, Cape Town (Afrique du Sud).

This paper presents some relevant issues related to agri-food enterprises development in Africa, with a particular focus on the territorial dimension of this activity. Drawing on empirical results, particularly from Western and Central Africa, it argues why and how a better appraisal and recognition of this territorial dimension might give a significant contribution to promoting competitiveness for the small-scale food processing sector, as well as sustainable employment, especially for women. Knowledge gaps are identified and needs for research support are indicated. The exposé is divided in three parts. The first one summarises some basic facts and trends relative to small, medium and micro-enterprises from the African food sector. The second section puts forward a conceptual framework for small enterprise analysis in the context of regional development. Finally, strategic opportunities are pointed out for research to play an increased role in tightening relationships between small-scale processing of food and other products, and the markets. These opportunities may have important implications for poverty alleviation, rural livelihoods, employment and the status of women.

Mots-clés : petite entreprise; secteur agroindustriel; traitement; marché; développement régional; afrique; développement local

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