Inequality and Poverty Impacts of Trade Distortions in Mozambique
Although Mozambique has considerable agricultural potential, rural poverty remains extremely high. This paper examines the extent to which global and domestic price distortions affect agricultural production and national poverty. We develop a computable general equilibrium (CGE) and micro-simulation model of Mozambique that is linked to the results of a global model. This framework is used to examine the effects of eliminating global and national price distortions. Model results indicate that agriculture is adversely affected by current trade distortions due to policies in the rest of the world. While a removal of all merchandise trade distortions would reduce import prices, it would also raise agricultural production and reduce poverty. By contrast, removing only agricultural price distortions abroad would have little effect on Mozambique’s agricultural sector. Model results indicate that Mozambique’s own distortions are also biased against agriculture, with producers of processed agricultural products enjoying high protection levels. Removing these distortions causes a significant expansion of agricultural GDP and a reduction in both poverty and inequality. Our findings therefore suggest that removing own-country and rest-of-world distortions would have positive implications for agriculture and for the overall economy in Mozambique, and in particular it would reduce its poverty and inequality.
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