Making economic corridors work for the agricultural sector

Making economic corridors work for the agricultural sector

In times of economic crisis, development models that help create jobs, generate wealth, mobilise public and private resources and stimulate key economic sectors sustainably are more important than ever. While there are no universal solutions, a development tool that seems to be gaining ground is the so-called “economic corridor”. This could be defined as a conceptual and programmatic model to structure socio-economic responses to develop a territory, building on a linear agglomeration of population and economic activities along existing transportation infrastructure (adapted from Healey, 2004). 

This study tries to shed some light on economic corridors in developing and emerging countries. In their part of the world, the agricultural and agro-industrial sectors are among the main employment generators and contributors to gross domestic product (GDP). Naturally, many corridor initiatives in developing countries target the agricultural sector, which is why the study focuses on the potential role of economic corridors as an engine of agricultural growth. The goal of the book is to provide policy-makers and practitioners with a series of evidence-based, practical instruments (a checklist and a good practices tool) to guide the design and implementation of agrocorridors.

The report appraises economic corridor experiences with a strong agricultural component in Central Asia, the Greater Mekong Subregion, Indonesia, Mozambique, Peru and the United Republic of Tanzania. It also documents the evolution of corridor interventions from purely transport sector-based initiatives, to logistics and trade corridors, and finally to economic corridors with a multisectoral approach. It corroborates that agriculture has become a key part of economic corridor programmes, especially in the Southern Hemisphere.

The comparative analysis undertaken here seeks to establish a corridor typology, and to identify the main drivers and components. It also describes corridor budgets and sources of funding, stakeholders, and management and governance mechanisms. A large part of this cross-comparison focuses on the agricultural component of corridor interventions, identifying the most recurrent activities under this component, the financial resources involved, the most often selected subsectors or value chains and target markets (domestic and international), the interface between infrastructure and agro-industrial development and the positive or negative impacts of corridor interventions on the agricultural sector.

Finally, the author proposes a checklist of necessary measures or elements that those interested in developing agrocorridors can use as a reference for deciding what activities to pursue, what organisational models are most suitable and clarify the steps that need to be taken.

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.