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Trade Policy Options for a Food-Security Commodity in Southern Africa: A Case Study of Maize in Zambia


  • Gallagher, Paul W.


We examine the performance of maize import policy options in one of the poorest countries in Southern Africa. The results are shaped by unique features of Zambia's maize market: production that is limited by risk and highly variable returns, and local marketing margins that increase with imports and limit consumer trade gains. Results suggest that the market-stabilizing protection with the variable import levy (VL) may improve welfare, compared free trade or the current tariff regime. The VL also redistributes benefits to farmers and rural residents and away from urban consumers. Tax revenues could be used to fund transportation improvements or an urban consumer subsidy. Also, we estimate that market-led improvements in transport infrastructure, which would be conducive to more open trade policies, may be 25 years away.

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  • Gallagher, Paul W., 2012. "Trade Policy Options for a Food-Security Commodity in Southern Africa: A Case Study of Maize in Zambia," Staff General Research Papers Archive 34830, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:34830

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    1. John L. Dillon & Pasquale L. Scandizzo, 1978. "Risk Attitudes of Subsistence Farmers in Northeast Brazil: A Sampling Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 60(3), pages 425-435.
    2. Foster, Kenneth A. & Mwanaumo, Anthony, 1995. "Estimation of dynamic maize supply response in Zambia," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 12(1), April.
    3. Marsh, John S, 1984. "The Reform of the CAP: National Interests and Financial Implications," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 11(2), pages 141-150.
    4. Richard E, Just & Darrell L. Heuth & Andrew Schmitz, 2004. "The Welfare Economics of Public Policy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3342.
    5. Rulon D. Pope & Richard E. Just, 1991. "On Testing the Structure of Risk Preferences in Agricultural Supply Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 73(3), pages 743-748.
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    Maize Policy; Zambia; Food Security; Variable Levy;

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