Cereals Trade Patterns in the SADCC Region
Stackhouse, Lee Ann
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In recent years, the nine member states of SADCC have increasingly voiced an interest in expanded intra-regional trade as one strategy towards increased food security within the region. The fact that six of the nine countries are landlocked, transport costs are high, and dependence on trade with external countries (including South Africa) is viewed as precarious, have contributed to a sense of urgency which resulted in the funding of pre-feasibility and feasibility studies for the establishment of a regional food security scheme based on local reserves. However, levels of intra-regional trade have historically been low. The proportion of intra-SADCC trade in overall trade is only 4-5% (Chr.. Michelsen, 1985). For food grains such as maize, much intra-regional trade has been in the form of donor-supported food aid (although percentages of commercial versus aid imports have never been comprehensively quantified). In an effort to contribute to the knowledge base on SADCC agricultural marketing and trade, the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension of the University of Zimbabwe, in collaboration with Michigan State University, initiated a research project, in mid-1987 -to explore constraints to and potentials for expanded trade in the SADCC region 1.