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Can Crop Purchase Programs Reduce Poverty and Improve Welfare in Rural Communities? Evidence from the Food Reserve Agency in Zambia

Author

Listed:
  • Fung, Winnie

    () (Wheaton College)

  • Liverpool-Tasie, Saweda

    () (Michigan State University)

  • Mason, Nicole

    () (Michigan State University)

  • Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth

    () (Morehouse College)

Abstract

The last decade has seen a resurgence of parastatal crop marketing institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, many of which cite improving food security and incomes as key goals. However, there is limited empirical evidence on the welfare effects of these programs. This article considers one such program, the Zambian Food Reserve Agency (FRA), which purchases maize from smallholder farmers at a pan-territorial price that typically exceeds maize market prices in surplus production areas. Using both fixed effects and an instrumental variables approach combined with correlated random effects, we estimate the effects of the FRA's maize marketing activities on smallholder farm household welfare. Results suggest that FRA activities have positive direct welfare effects on the small minority of smallholder households that are able to sell to it. However, the results also suggest negative indirect FRA effects, as higher levels of FRA activity in a district are associated with higher levels of poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Fung, Winnie & Liverpool-Tasie, Saweda & Mason, Nicole & Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth, 2015. "Can Crop Purchase Programs Reduce Poverty and Improve Welfare in Rural Communities? Evidence from the Food Reserve Agency in Zambia," IZA Discussion Papers 9361, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9361
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Elliot Mghenyi & Robert J. Myers & T.S. Jayne, 2011. "The effects of a large discrete maize price increase on the distribution of household welfare and poverty in rural Kenya-super-1," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 42(3), pages 343-356, May.
    2. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    3. Nicole M. Mason & Robert J. Myers, 2013. "The effects of the Food Reserve Agency on maize market prices in Zambia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(2), pages 203-216, March.
    4. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, January.
    5. Nicole M. Mason & Melinda Smale, 2013. "Impacts of subsidized hybrid seed on indicators of economic well-being among smallholder maize growers in Zambia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(6), pages 659-670, November.
    6. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    7. Chapoto, Antony & Jayne, Thomas S., 2011. "Zambian Farmers’ Access to Maize Markets," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 116910, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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    9. Sitko, Nicholas J. & Kuteya, Auckland N., 2013. "The Maize Price Spike of 2012/13: Understanding the Paradox of High Prices despite Abundant Supplies," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 171871, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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    11. Sitko, Nicholas J. & Jayne, T.S., 2014. "Exploitative Briefcase Businessmen, Parasites, and Other Myths and Legends: Assembly Traders and the Performance of Maize Markets in Eastern and Southern Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 56-67.
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    Keywords

    crop marketing boards; strategic grain reserves; maize; smallholder farmers; income; poverty; Zambia; sub-Saharan Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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