Zimbabwe's Food Insecurity Paradox: Implications For Grain Market Reform In Southern Africa.
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The structure of Zimbabwe’s grain market, while stimulating production and incomes in high-potential smallholder areas since independence, has actually contributed to food insecurity among grain-deficit households in semi-arid areas. Results of an econometric model indicate that over 100,000 tonnes of expensive commercial maize meal flow annually into rural areas while grain flows out through the official marketing channel. This circuitous movement of grain, a symptom of poorly functioning informal rural grain markets, has effectively reduced incomes among poor rural consumers by as much as 30 percent. The promotion of informal rural trade will require the removal of government restrictions and attention to other critical barriers to private investment in grain trading.