Friday, June 17, 2011

Trade Liberalization, State Trader Management Tenure, and Grain Pricing in Botswana

This journal article, authored by Dr T. B. Seleka of BIDPA, examines how trade liberalization and grain marketing board management tenure influenced grain pricing in Botswana. Regression analyses of nominal protection rates (NPRs) and marketing margins (MMs) are used to test the hypothesis that policy reforms influenced grain pricing in the country. Moreover, a comparison of NPRs is undertaken to determine whether management tenure has had an influence on grain pricing. The results indicate that the marketing board switched from taxing to subsidizing consumers following the 1991 policy reform from food self-sufficiency to food security. A reversal occurred after the board's 1997 restructuring, which involved, among other things, closing down Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board's (BAMB's) loss-making units and a change in the composition of BAMB's board of directors. Management tenure at BAMB also had an influence on grain pricing. The period 1989-1997, in particular, was characterized by high consumer subsidization, highest marketing margins, and lowest profits. This could have been avoided had management adopted pricing regime consistent with public policy. This notwithstanding, perennial losses experienced by the marketing board also resulted from fragmented production and low producer market participation.

The article appears in Journal of International Food & Agribusiness Marketing Volume 23, Issue 2, 2011, Pages 167 - 186

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