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Abstract

Agriculture remains an important sector in South Africa despite its small direct share of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). In 2004 primary agriculture contributed 3% to total GDP, while accounting for over 10% of all reported employment (OECD, 2006). Within this sector, the grain industry is one of the largest, contributing approximately 16% to the total gross value of agricultural production between 2000 and 2003 marketing years (SAGIS, 2005). It is comprised of all grain and oilseed industries, of which, maize and wheat are considered primary staple commodities given their importance in promoting food security. Over the past two decades or so, both domestic and trade policy interventions within the maize industry has occurred within the context of vast political and socioeconomic change. The overall goal of government during this period was to create an open and market-orientated economy as well as to redress the injustices of the past. The resultant set of policy interventions affecting the grain sector have successfully managed to achieve the goal of a market-orientated system, while making significant strides in achieving a more open grain sector in term of Black Economic Empowerment. The primary objective of this case study is to describe the evolution of policies affecting crossborder trade in maize and maize meal between South Africa and the Southern African region. To this end, the major maize grain flows within South Africa, the major domestic and trade policies affecting cross- border maize trade between South Africa and its surrounding neighbors, as well as the market pricing mechanism are described and assessed.

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