Annual Forum Papers

An Evaluation of the Influences on Price and Production in the Maize Market following Liberalisation

  • Year: 2002
  • Author(s): Neo Chabane

In 1996 the maize market was liberalised and the maize marketing board was abolished. This has meant that prices and production decisions now respond to market forces. At the same time there has been a restructuring of agents at different levels of the maize supply chain and there are relatively high levels of concentration. Maize is of particular importance given its nature as a staple for the majority of the population. The paper provides an overview of the maize supply-chain and assesses the evolution of production and distribution arrangements at different levels, from farmers through to maize millers since liberalisation. It assesses concentration at the levels of production, storage and milling of maize. It examines trade flows and the relationships with domestic demand and supply. Based on this, the research evaluates the determinants of prices and assesses possible competition concerns, before making brief recommendations.