Market and Trade Policy for Staple Foods in Eastern and Southern Africa
Edited by Alexander Sarris and Jamie Morrison
The origins of this volume stem from interactions with developing country government officials and policy makers on trade-related issues, where it became apparent that there was a need to supplement the debates related to multilateral trade negotiations, and associated trade capacity-building activities, with a clearer understanding and reflection among policy makers and those seeking to provide policy advice, on the type of agriculture sector trade policy that would be desirable for different developing countries, in boosting their growth and enhancing their food security situation. The perception is that many developing countries are not in a strong position to articulate their strategy for trade negotiations and end up being passive recipients of various modalities and rules, largely formulated by, and based on strategies and interests of, other countries, the purpose of which is not necessarily compatible with promoting their own development. At the same time, this weakness may have led to the defensive strategies of many developing countries who seek to maintain high bound levels of agricultural protection, despite the perceived large margins of concessions they could offer in light of the large tariff overhangs. One of the regions where this need is felt very strongly is Eastern and Southern Africa. The region has considerable potential for producing basic food products, such as cereal staples, but has experienced growing imports of these and related food products over the last decade. In response to such observations, the FAO Trade and Markets Division convened at the end of 2007 a meeting of 40...