The Social Sciences

Year: 2011
Volume: 6
Issue: 2
Page No. 96 - 113

Adjustment Reforms and Agricultural Export Trade in SSA: A Case of Strange Bedfellows?

Authors : M. Adetunji Babatunde and Dipo T. Busari

Abstract: This study yields a number of insights into the analysis of agricultural export trade in SSA. Statistical evidence reveals that SSA countries have significantly liberalized their trade regimes over the past two decades or thereabout. This is evident in the significant reduction of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, removal of exchange rate control and elimination of export marketing boards among other trade reform measures. While the study was able to confirm the distortions caused by trade barriers on export performance, there is not much evidence that the adoption of trade policy reforms, since the mid 1980's have produced a significant agricultural export response. Declining infrastructure investment, particularly transport infrastructure (air/sea port, railways and roads) have generated substantial transaction costs and dampened the response of agricultural exports to the more favourable trade environment being witnessed, since the mid 1980's. In addition, factors external to an individual country such as relative prices and income of trading partners appears to be more important determinants of exports than a country’s own structural adjustment policies. This however does not imply that at the margin, structural adjustment policy reform is not beneficial. The simple point is that there are many factors other than structural policy that help explain the poor agricultural export performance of SSA countries. Domestic policies are necessary to reduce the various constraints on supply response increase transport and marketing efficiency and encouraging investment. To benefit from agricultural trade, SSA countries need to increase the flexibility and efficiency of resource use so that they can be competitive in global markets.

How to cite this article:

M. Adetunji Babatunde and Dipo T. Busari, 2011. Adjustment Reforms and Agricultural Export Trade in SSA: A Case of Strange Bedfellows?. The Social Sciences, 6: 96-113.

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