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.

  • 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...

  • 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.
     

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.

    ...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

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

  • Hunger by the Numbers

    In 2016, 41.2 million people were food-insecure (most recent figures available) — meaning that they were unsure how they would provide for their next meal.