In almost all of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries maize is cropped on a commercial basis except in Mauritius and Seychelles. Maize meal is the most important food staple in Southern and Eastern Africa. This is one of the main reason many governments in the region implement various policies to protect the maize sector. With adoption of the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (URAA) in the late 1990s, there has been a wave of market liberalization in the region. Maize production and marketing have seen major reforms with the URAA, market liberalization, and the Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs). Private sector participation in the supply of maize inputs (improved seed and fertilizer) and grain marketing has steadily increased during this same period (Hassan et al., 2000). The pace of change differed however from country to country, as did the impacts of the reforms.


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