André Bueno Rezende de Castro

Research themes
  • Institutions
  • Growth, inequality and poverty
  • Global development and trade
  • Development Politics
  • Food and nutrition
  • Macroeconomic Issues
  • Innovation and science policy
Research countries
  • Brazil
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
Additional Information:

10/2017 - 10/2019: Country Economist at the International Growth Centre (IGC), from the London School of Economics (LSE), in Tanzania

10/2015 - 10/2017: ODI Fellow at the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development of Uganda (Overseas Development Institute)

2014-15: MSc Globalisation and Development, University of Manchester, UK

2012-13: Graduate Diploma in Economics, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK

2008-12: BSc Economics, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Additional information


Development Economics

Funding institutions


Fiat Panis Foundation

Thesis title

The agro-processing value chain as a pathway for development: Evidence from Tanzania

Thesis abstract

The stark differences in living standards between countries are partly explained by productivity differentials. Low-income countries have relatively low productivity in agriculture, which is still the main economic sector in employment and exports. This research proposal has the overarching objective to investigate the role of the agro-processing sector as a pathway for industrialization and as a way out of poverty for smallholder farmers as well as the rural and urban workforces in Tanzania. Then we investigate the agro-processing sector and its role for industrialization, income generation, and food security from three different angles. Thereby. the proposed conceptual framework interconnects the supplying farmers’ side, the embeddedness of agro-processing firms in the global value chains (GVCs), and the political framework enabling it. The first paper looks into the farmers’ side and analyzes the impact of Tanzanian agro-processing firms on farmers’ incomes, agricultural yields, and food security. It utilizes both secondary data and primary data sources, collected from fieldwork carried out with semi-structured interviews with farmers and firms in Tanzania. The methodology employs propensity score matching and binary Probit models to address farmers’ selection bias, with robustness checks. The second paper uses the same data sources, alongside firm- and sector-level data, focusing on the firms’ side by analyzing the profile of the firms in the Tanzanian agro-processing sector and their insertion into GVCs. It investigates whether a higher linkage to GVCs leads to firm upgrading and the potential of the agro-processing sector for industrial development. The study looks into a variety of processed final products stemming from different crops in order to estimate the firms’ export effect and access to international markets. The problem of endogeneity between GVC insertion and firm productivity is addressed by a fixed effects model and a Heckman selection bias correction model. Lastly, the third paper implements a political economy analysis of the development of the Tanzanian agro-processing industry. It studies its relative underdevelopment by considering the effectiveness of the lobby of such firms with the government, the implementation stage of government policies, and the barriers for a better and more effective dialogue of a development commitment. The methodology employs a political settlement framework in combination with the deals- vs. rules-based approach. All in all, the research questions proposed enable a better understanding of the inter-linkages between the agro-processing firms’ productivity and farmers’ welfare and food security. The overarching objective of this dissertation increases the knowledge in the field of rural development and agro-industrial relations. Therefore, it provides targeted policy recommendations. Key words: agro-processing industry, smallholder farmers, food security, firms’ productivity, global value chains, Tanzania.

Doctoral research funded by

DAAD Scholarship for Development-Related Postgraduate Courses, funded by The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany

Advisor at ZEF

Prof. Dr. Joachim von Braun

Dr. Lukas Kornher


Saha, A., A. Castro, M. Carreras and D. Guariso.  2020.  Trade, technology, and absorptive capacity: Firm-level evidence across geographical clusters in the Tanzanian textiles and apparel sector.  (Misc. WIDER Working Paper 2020/96) 28 (Open Acess) Further Information


Francesca Guadagno; André Castro; Samuel Wangwe; Michele Delera.  2019.  Horticulture, and wood and furniture industries in Tanzania: Performance, challenges and potential policy approaches.  Download [PDF | 938.30KB]
Further Information


Amrita Saha; André Castro; Daniele Guariso; Ben Shepherd.  Technology demand and the role of South-South trade in Tanzania’s textiles and apparel: Examining linkages with India.  Further Information

Additionals, Curriculum Vitae
and Downloads

André Bueno Rezende de Castro

Junior Researcher

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Department :
ZEF B: Department of Economic and Technological Change