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Title: A model of inter-regional trade and storage of grain : an application to Zimbabwe and Tanzania
Author: Vaze, Prabhat Bhaskar
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis looks at the economics of staples trade in the sub-Saharan region, verifying an economic model using data from the white maize markets of Zimbabwe and Tanzania. Both countries have reformed their grain marketing system in the recent past. In the early 1980s, the government was the main actor in the food distribution system, operating through large state-owned marketing boards. However, under pressure from international agencies, first Tanzania and then Zimbabwe, liberalised their food markets and the role of the private sector increased. The state has remained a player in the market and a mix between public and private marketing system has evolved. White maize is the main staple of both the countries and there is only one harvest, around April. The peculiar agroecology of the crop means that inter-regional trade has to be combined with storage to meet consumer needs. The economics of this food system is analysed using an optimal control framework. In a model of inter-regional trade where there is a single harvest at the start of the period and an external market which fixes a low buying and a high selling price, it is shown that trade is intermittent. In particular, regions would first source consumption from own stocks, then trade and finally purchase grain from the external market until the following years harvest. The model is first investigated using household survey data collected in 1994-95 from 356 households in Buhera Communal Area, Zimbabwe. The harvest was poor and private traders had, for the first time since liberalisation, established direct trade links between food deficit parts of Buhera and surplus neighbouring areas. Also, the analysis gives the first indication of the role of the state marketing agency, post-reform.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available