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Scirj Volume IV, Issue IV, April 2016 Edition
ISSN: 2201-2796

Intra- Regional Trade in Staple Foods in Eastern and Southern Africa:Does Trade Protection Still Exist?

Mary Mbithi, Joseph Karugia, Paul Guthiga and Kennedy Osoro

Abstract: This study accesses tariff protection measures for selected staples food products among COMESA member countries and their key regional trading partners from Eastern and Southern Africa. The staple foods products analyzed include: maize grain, rice grain, dry legumes, live bovine animals, milk and cream, bovine meat, fish and crustaceans, tomatoes, maize flour, wheat flour, cassava and onions. Average tariffs are ranked while existence of tariff peaks, tariff escalation and other non-transparent tariffs, particularly specific tariffs are analysed. The study finds that staple food products import protection exists in terms of high tariffs (tariff peaks), tariff escalation and specific duties (in some years). EAC Partner State countries of Tanzania, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Kenya have the highest protection for their staple food markets. Staple food product exports from Congo D.R., Djibouti, Sudan and South Africa face most severe restrictions in terms of import tariff barriers in intra-regional trade. On average maize, rice and milk products are the most protected staple foods with high tariffs. Tariff escalation exists for meat, wheat, maize, rice and related products. For an improved food security through increased food products’ trade, it is recommended that countries in the region facilitate and increase intra-regional staple foods trade by eliminating existing tariffs on imports of staple food products from the region; eliminating high tariffs and tariff escalation; and encouraging value addition of staple foods traded in the region.

Reference this Paper: Intra- Regional Trade in Staple Foods in Eastern and Southern Africa:Does Trade Protection Still Exist? by Mary Mbithi, Joseph Karugia, Paul Guthiga and Kennedy Osoro published at: "Scientific Research Journal (Scirj), Volume IV, Issue IV, April 2016 Edition, Page 44-52 ".

Search Terms: COMESA, intraregional trade, tariff protection, Staple food products, food security

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