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Abstract

This paper reports the results of a computable general equilibrium (CGE) analysis of the South African sugar industry. The study was inspired by analyses of the EU South Africa Free Trade Agreement that indicated the importance of sugar exports to the welfare gains from agricultural trade liberalisation and by the increasing pressure upon OECD countries to reform their sugar (trade) policies. In addition to the effects of trade liberalisation this study also considers the implications of increases in the efficiency with which sugarcane is converted to raw sugar, which is an important determinant of the competitiveness of sugar production and exports. The results indicate that there would be substantial welfare gains across all household groups and that overall agricultural producers in South Africa should benefit; however there are substantial variations in the impact upon agricultural producers in different provinces, with farmers in some provinces facing reductions in the profitability of farming.

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