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Agricultural price policy in the Republic of South Africa, the Southern African Customs Union, and food security in Botswana

  • Herrmann, Roland
  • Cathie, John

This analysis is concerned with the direct impacts of the regulation of food markets under SACU on food security in the BLS countries. There are two basic rules in SACU determining trade in food and non-food products (Ettinger, 1974; Maasdorp, 1986). The first of these is that common tariffs exist for trade with the rest of the world. The second is that the internal market of SACU represents a free-trade area. The common external tariffs of SACU are fixed by the Republic of South Africa. These rules of SACU link the agricultural price policy in the Republic of South Africa with food imports and food security in the BLS countries. It is the objective of this paper to investigate this linkage which has been hitherto ignored in the literature. The paper analyzes quantitatively how the agricultural policy of the Republic of South Africa affects food security in Botswana and particularly how this was transmitted via the rules of SACU during the period 1969-84. The analysis begins by describing the institutional relationship between agricultural price policy in South Africa and food security in the BLS countries. Section 3 considers empirically what impacts agricultural policy in South Africa has had upon the food import sector of Botswana, and the magnitude, trends and instabilities of these economic variables are investigated. The analysis is based upon econometrically estimated food import demand equations for Botswana. Section 4 takes into consideration the effects of the customs union remittances received from SACU by Botswana. The effects of customs union membership, as they apply to food security in Botswana are tested by the hypothesis as to whether the joint impact of the external tariff policy on food and of customs union revenues was positive or negative. Finally, in section 5 the main results of the analysis are summarized and suggestions for further research are indicated.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 289.

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Date of creation: 1987
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Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:289
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  1. Koester, Ulrich, 1986. "Regional cooperation to improve food security in southern and eastern African countries:," Research reports 53, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Cobbe, James H., 1980. "Integration among unequals: The Southern African Customs Union and Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 329-336, April.
  3. Mosley, Paul, 1979. "Reply to Robson and Landell-Mills," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 87-88, January.
  4. Herrmann, Roland & Schmitz, Peter Michael, 1984. "Stabilizing Producers' Revenue by Fixing Agricultural Prices within the EC?," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 11(4), pages 395-414.
  5. Mosley, Paul, 1978. "The Southern African customs union: A reappraisal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 31-43, January.
  6. Bigman, David & Reutlinger, Shlomo, 1979. "National and International Policies toward Food Security and Price Stabilization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 159-63, May.
  7. Brodsky, David A, 1980. "Decomposable Measures of Economic Instability," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 42(4), pages 361-74, November.
  8. Sarris, Alexander H., 1980. "Grain imports and food security in an unstable international market," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 489-504, December.
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