Barriers to trade in Sub-Saharan Africa food markets

Patrick L. Hatzenbuehler

This continent-wide review of studies on price transmission implemented for the global, regional cross-border, within-country urban and within-country rural market segments provides a broad overview of current conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa food markets and provides insights into how market development varies across regions and crops. The review focuses on barriers to trade, both those related to policy and those related to general market development. Observations in the reviewed studies show that there are several long-run and short-run factors that have inhibited, and currently inhibit, food trade in the analysed markets. The long-run factors are related to general market development, such as imperfect substitutability between imported and domestic produce and infrastructure deficiencies. Short-run factors include intermittent changes in trade and/or tax policy and changes in self-sufficiency status. In only a few cases were no barriers to trade identified, and these were for highly traded foods between markets within countries. Since tradability is an indicator of market development, greater policymaker and donor partner attention is needed to remove barriers to trade, especially for foods that are efficiently produced domestically but do not yet have a welldeveloped domestic or international market.