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Abstract

More than two decades after the initiation of agricultural market reforms in eastern and southern Africa (ESA), governments in the region are increasingly using parastatal grain marketing boards (GMBs) and/or strategic grain reserves (SGRs) to directly influence the prices faced by farmers and consumers. In Zambia, for example, the government through the Food Reserve Agency, a SGR/GMB, purchased nearly 400,000 metric tons (MT) of maize from smallholders in 2006/07 and 2007/08, or more than 50% of the maize marketed by this group. This marked a sharp increase in the level of FRA purchases: between its establishment in 1996 and the 2005/06 marketing year, FRA’s annual maize purchases only once exceeded 100,000 MT. Then in 2010/11, the FRA purchased more than 80% of expected smallholder marketed maize (878,570 MT).

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