This BIDPA Policy Brief consider what has happened to food price in Botswana over the past two years. In mid and late 2008 food prices throughout the world peaked after a period of almost one year of continual price rises.
Yet the collapse of those prices on world markets which in some cases preceded but in most cases coincided with the onset of the global recession has not been translated into commensurate decreases of consumer prices in the shops in Botswana. This brief attempts to explain why consumer prices rose so dramatically in 2008, why they collapsed on the world market and why the consumers in Botswana have not seen significant benefits from that price decrease on world markets. This paper uses publicly available data from the statistics offices of Botswana and her neighbors, the Republic of South Africa (RSA) and Namibia as a basis of comparison. Several important basic commodities will be considered including maize, wheat flour, sugar and rice. The results are intended to assist policy makers as well as the general public understand the forces of global markets, national policy and the Botswana and regional market structures and how they affect day-to-day food prices. Click here to access the full paper.