Market and Trade Policy for Staple Foods in Eastern and Southern Africa
Edited by Alexander Sarris and Jamie Morrison
Chapter 14: Trade and Market Policy Interventions: A Synthesis of Insights from Research on Eastern and Southern African Grain Markets
Jamie Morrison and Alexander Sarris 1 INTRODUCTION The chapters comprising this volume examine a wide range of issues central to the debates relating to the appropriate use of trade and related domestic policy interventions in the grains sectors of Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA). The objective of this chapter is to draw upon the wealth of information contained in the preceding chapters with a view to identifying, and commenting upon, a series of practical issues related to policy intervention. It should be stressed at this juncture that a major difficulty in formulating clearer views on the role of trade policy is that appropriate policy interventions will necessarily be specific to the commodity in question, to the status of that commodity in the country in question, and to the stage of development of that country’s agriculture sector, among many other factors. This context specificity makes it difficult to draw generalizations from theoretical, empirical and case-study insights. In considering the more general insights and conclusions developed in this chapter, this caveat should therefore be borne in mind. This chapter first reviews the problematique in Eastern and Southern African grain markets in terms of weaknesses in their structures and their recent performance. It then discusses policy alternatives for addressing the problematique, drawing on both theoretical insights and on the case-study experience. Finally, it draws some conclusions on practical follow-up steps to improve both the debates around, and the formulation of, appropriate trade policies. 390 Trade and market policy interventions: a synthesis 391 2...
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