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

  • The Nourishing Effect

    Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.

  • Mass Incarceration: A Major Cause of Hunger

    Mass incarceration has far-reaching effects in the United States. It poses a significant barrier to ending U.S. hunger and poverty by 2030—a goal the United States adopted in 2015. But the connection is not always obvious.

  • Advancing Nutrition through Food Aid Reform

    The United States has long been a global leader in responding to humanitarian emergencies. Food assistance that includes nutritious food for pregnant women and young children is both a life-and-death matter for individuals and an economic imperative for countries.

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

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.

    ...

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

    Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.