Agriculture and Trade

Trade can be a powerful tool for the reduction of poverty in developing nations. But U.S. agriculture and trade policy has sometimes undermined African countries’ efforts to take the first step out of poverty.

The main way Bread for the World has been addressing hunger in the area of trade in agricultural goods is through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This legislation offers tangible incentives for African countries to continue to open their economies and build free markets.

AGOA remains the most important piece of legislation that defines trade relationships between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa.

AGOA allows almost all African products to be imported to the United States duty-free. The act has helped expand and diversify African exports to the United States. Exports from sub-Saharan countries have increased more than four times since 2001 and totaled $26.8 billion for 2013, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The president signed a new ten-year African Growth and Opportunity Act in 2015. The reauthorized bill expanded U.S. technical assistance that specifically prioritized women smallholder farmers. 

AGOA’s achievements illustrate its great potential to spur economic growth. Agriculture-led growth, which has the greatest impact on poverty, is still urgently needed. The food-price crisis of 2007-2008, followed by the worldwide recession, caused an increase in hunger and malnutrition and continued high poverty rates. An estimated 80 percent of Africa’s hungry and poor people support themselves through agriculture.

According to the World Bank, 11 of the 20 fastest-growing economies are in Africa. So there is great potential in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa to expand businesses and thus provide more people with jobs and incomes.

Bread has worked in this area in recent years with a network of African-American and African leaders calling for the empowerment of our African sisters and brothers by advocating for policies that eradicate hunger, poverty, and disease.

By working as partners, we allow the people of Africa to lead more prosperous, stable, and healthy lives.

Help Women Farmers. Infographic by Doug Puller / Bread for the World

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.

    Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.

  • Bread Newsletter January 2016

    In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.
     

  • Interfaith Religious Leaders’ Pledge to End Hunger

    A wide array of the nation’s faith leaders have come together on the eve of Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States to commit ourselves to encourage our communities to work for the end of hunger by 2030 and, toward that end, for a shift in U.S. national priorities.

    We are deeply pleased...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.

    ...

  • The State of Black Poverty: A Pan-African Millennial Perspective on Ending Hunger by 2030

    Over the past year and a half, about two-dozen young adults from the United States and countries in Africa and the Caribbean, have gathered virtually and in person to reflect on the effects of hunger and poverty in black communities. The working group has been considering socio-political and...

  • Fact Sheet: The Hunger-Medicaid Connection

    Congress is considering proposals that would jeopardize healthcare coverage for millions of poor and near-poor adults and children. 

    The bill under consideration, the American Health Care Act, would gut...