Maize meal is a staple food in South Africa, particularly among the poor. The South African government by the mid-1980s enacted a series of legislations aimed at reducing the role of government within the market and placing increasing reliance on market forces and the private sector. Ex post studies of the impact of maize market reform in neighboring countries found that, in general, the reforms led to lower maize milling/retailing margins in real terms. However, in the case of South Africa, recent analysis indicates that maize market reform has not reduced processing and retailing margins in the maize meal supply chain. The study objectives are to determine actual and potential consumer demand for the types of maize meal capable of being produced by small-scale mills, to measure the potential impact of small-scale grain retailing and milling channels on households’ disposable income and food security, and to identify the factors responsible for the negligible role of small-scale milling sector in South Africa.


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