Annual Forum Papers

Regulation and rivalry in transport and fertilizer supply in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia

  • Year: 2015
  • Organisation: Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development, University of Johannesburg
  • Author(s): Simon Roberts; Thando Vilakazi;
  • Countries and Regions: Malawi, Zambia

Session 8: Agricultural value chains in the region

Fertiliser is a key input for commercial agriculture. However, there is generally low fertiliser use in Sub-Saharan Africa and hardly any production of fertiliser in countries in Southern and East Africa, aside from South Africa. Studies have emphasised the importance of transport costs in the price of fertiliser paid by the farmer as well as the detrimental impact of lack of competition in the trucking sector in increasing prices. Many reviews over the years have considered the various reasons for the high costs of road freight in southern and East Africa, including regulations restricting participation and competition, the role of national and regional transport associations, inefficient borders and poor roads, and lobbying and rent-seeking by powerful local transport interests. This paper considers the different reasons and their changing impact over time.