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Access of Eastern African Farmers to Domestic and International Markets: Opportunities and Constraints


  • Bahiigwa, Godfrey


This paper reviews the opportunities and challenges that Eastern African farmers face in accessing domestic, regional and international markets. With rising population and incomes, domestic markets offer great opportunities for farmers. However, because of structural, institutional and organizational constraints, small scale rural farmers may not benefit much from domestic urban markets unless they are organized and trained to meet the high quality product standards demanded by urban consumers and supermarkets. ECA countries stand to gain more by investing in commodities that are consumed within the region, than from traditional cash crops destined for international markets. Regional integration offers opportunities for larger markets and efficiency gains and this is happening, although countries still have to do more to ease the flow of goods across the region, including joint investments in infrastructure to link markets, harmonizing trade policies, and removing trade barriers that limit cross-border trade. Access to international markets remains constrained because of trade distorting practices in developed countries, especially tariff peaks and tariff escalation, domestic support to their farmers, and export subsidies. All these practices render African products uncompetitive, discourage investments in agro-industries, thus limiting growth in jobs and incomes, and slow down the pace of economic growth and overall poverty reduction. African countries stand to gain more from liberal trade policies than from aid from developed countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Bahiigwa, Godfrey, 2006. "Access of Eastern African Farmers to Domestic and International Markets: Opportunities and Constraints," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25270, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae06:25270

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Neven & Thomas Reardon, 2004. "The Rise of Kenyan Supermarkets and the Evolution of their Horticulture Product Procurement Systems," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 22(6), pages 669-699, November.
    2. Kherallah, Mylène & Delgado, Christopher L. & Gabre-Madhin, Eleni Z. & Minot, Nicholas & Johnson, Michael, 2002. "Reforming agricultural markets in Africa," Food policy statements 38, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Thomas Reardon & C. Peter Timmer & Christopher B. Barrett & Julio Berdegué, 2003. "The Rise of Supermarkets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1140-1146.
    4. Diao, Xinshen & Hazell, Peter, 2004. "Exploring market opportunities for African smallholders," 2020 vision briefs 6, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Diao, Xinshen & Dorosh, Paul A. & Rahman, Shaikh Mahfuzur, 2003. "Market opportunities for African agriculture," DSGD discussion papers 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Garcia, Marito, 1994. "Malnutrition and food insecurity projections, 2020," 2020 vision briefs 6, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    International Relations/Trade;


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