School of Social and Political Science

Research project type

Innovation and Inclusive Industrialisation in Agro-processing

Research team

Research team



Agro-processing as a route toward industrial development

The return of industrial policy to many African countries over the past decade has been accompanied by increased focus by policymakers on promoting agro-processing as a route to an inclusive trajectory of industrial development.

Agro-processing industries are expected to be transformed over the coming decades by a major shift in domestic food demand created by urbanisation, rising incomes and changing consumer habits.

Opportunities for inclusive industrialisation

These shifts are widely anticipated to create opportunities for inclusive industrialisation, in which structural change is combined with increased participation by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly in rural areas.

Innovation and Inclusive Industrialisation in Agro-Processing investigates these issues through a collaborative project involving researchers from the:

  • University of Edinburgh’s Centre of African Studies
  • University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED)
  • Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), Tanzania

The project is a comparative study conducted across Tanzania and South Africa focusing on three agro-processing value chains: maize, citrus and dairy.

Aims of the study

The three aims of the study are:

  • First, to describe the factors that determine innovation and inclusion in agro-processing
  • Second, explain the challenges to promoting SME participation in agro-processing value chains
  • Third, to use these findings to support industrial policy formulation at the national and regional level

The project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Global Challenges Research Fund (ES/S0001352/1).

Further information

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