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Food Crises and Food Markets: Implications for Emergency Response in Southern Africa

  • Tschirley, David L.
  • Jayne, Thomas S.

Concern about humanitarian crises in southern Africa, especially in light of the surge in world food prices since 2007, has been accompanied by calls for direct government action in food markets. This paper reviews how Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique handled private food markets during the food crises of 2001/02, 2002/03, and 2005/06, which may provide important lessons for the management of future crises. Lack of trust between government and traders can lead to behavior that undermines the interests of each and harms consumers and farmers; Malawi and Zambia have persistently fallen into this trap while Mozambique has partially avoided it. Empirical policy analysis can make an important contribution to resolution only within a consultative process involving a broad range of (often fractious) stakeholders.

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Paper provided by Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics in its series Food Security International Development Policy Syntheses with number 54508.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:midips:54508
Contact details of provider: Postal: Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture, 446 West Circle Dr., Rm 202, East Lansing, MI 48824-1039
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  1. Chitundu, Maureen & Droppelmann, Klaus & Haggblade, Steven, 2006. "A Value Chain Task Force Approach for Managing Private-Public Partnerships: Zamiba’s Task Force on Acceleration of Cassava Utilization," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 54480, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  2. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
  3. van Campenhout, Bjorn, 2005. "Modelling Trends in Food Market Integration: Method and an Application to Tanzanian Maize Markets," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24718, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Emílio Tost�o & B. Wade Brorsen, 2005. "Spatial price efficiency in Mozambique's post-reform maize markets," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 33(2), pages 205-214, 09.
  5. Nijhoff, Jan J. & Jayne, Thomas S. & Mwiinga, Billy & Shaffer, James D., 2002. "Markets Need Predictable Government Actions to Function Effectively: The Case of Importing Maize in Times of Deficit," Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs 54609, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  6. Jayne, Thomas S. & Chapoto, Antony, 2006. "Emerging Structural Maize Deficits in Eastern and Southern Africa: Implications for National Agricultural Strategies," Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs 54620, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  7. Mwanaumo, Anthony & Jayne, Thomas S. & Zulu, Ballard & Shawa, Julius J. & Mbozi, Green & Haggblade, Steven & Nyembe, Misheck, 2005. "Zambia's 2005 Maize Import and Marketing Experiences: Lessons and Implications," Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs 54615, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  8. Shahidur Rashid, 2004. "Spatial Integration of Maize Markets in Post-liberalised Uganda," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 13(1), pages 102-133, March.
  9. Tschirley, David L. & Nijhoff, Jan J. & Arlindo, Pedro & Mwiinga, Billy & Weber, Michael T. & Jayne, Thomas S., 2006. "Anticipating and Responding to Drought Emergencies in Southern Africa: Lessons from the 2002-2003 Experience," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54564, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  10. Dorosh, Paul A. & Dradri, Simon & Haggblade, Steven, 2007. "Alternative Instruments for Ensuring Food Security and Price Stability in Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 54488, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  11. Traub, Lulama Ndibongo & Jayne, T.S., 2008. "The effects of price deregulation on maize marketing margins in South Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 224-236, June.
  12. Dorward, Andrew & Kydd, Jonathan & Morrison, Jamie & Urey, Ian, 2004. "A Policy Agenda for Pro-Poor Agricultural Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 73-89, January.
  13. Martin Ravallion, 1986. "Testing Market Integration," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 68(1), pages 102-109.
  14. Stephen Devereux, 2007. "The impact of droughts and floods on food security and policy options to alleviate negative effects," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 37(s1), pages 47-58, December.
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