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POLICY SYNTHESIS for USAID Bureau for Africa Office of Sustainable Development Number 12 March 1996 Food Marketing and Pricing Policy in Eastern and Southern Africa Lessons for Increasing Agricultural Productivity and Access to Food By T S Jayne and Stephen Jones Food Security II Cooperative Agreement between U S Agency for International Development Global Bureau Economic Growth Center Office of Agriculture and Food Security and Department of Agricultural Economics Michigan State University Since the early 1980s donors and international lending agencies have promoted the reform of agricultural marketing as a central component of economy wide structural adjustment programs in Africa Although the record of implementation has often been slow and uneven staple food marketing policy has been transformed over this period The prevailing wisdom was that by lowering marketing costs these reforms would reduce consumer food prices raise producer prices and generally stimulate farm technology adoption and agricultural productivity growth These reform experiments have revealed eight main lessons 1 Where smallholder grain production and uptake of hybrid seed and fertilizer have expanded significantly since independence Zimbabwe 1980 88 Zambia 1985 90 and to a lesser extent Kenya 1975 82 this growth has been associated with major investments in state marketing infrastructure credit disbursement input delivery and assured outlets for crop sale However this stateled model of service provision to support smallholder productivity growth has involved large state budget deficits which especially in the current environment of expanded donor influence over policy has been politically and economically unsustainable OBJECTIVES This study surveys the empirical record of grain marketing and pricing policy in selected Eastern and Southern African countries Kenya Malawi Tanzania Zambia Zimbabwe and South Africa over the period 1930 1995 The paper addresses five key issues with major

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