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The role of warehouse receipt systems in enhanced commodity marketing and rural livelihoods in Africa

The role of warehouse receipt systems in enhanced commodity marketing and rural livelihoods in Africa

Coulter, J. and Onumah, G. (2002) The role of warehouse receipt systems in enhanced commodity marketing and rural livelihoods in Africa. Food Policy, 27 (4). pp. 319-337. ISSN 0306-9192 (doi:10.1016/S0306-9192(02)00018-0)

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Abstract

Most African countries have, since the 1980s, liberalised agriculture without experiencing food crisis, as feared by sceptics, but the outcome of reforms has been rather disappointing and agricultural markets remain nderdeveloped and inefficient. One means to improve agricultural marketing, which is the focus of this paper, is to develop regulated warehouse receipt (WR) systems. The system will curtail cheating on weights and measures; ease access to finance at all levels in the marketing chain; moderate seasonal price variability and promote instruments to mitigate price risks. It will also reduce the need for the Government to intervene in agricultural markets, and reduce the cost of such interventions if needed. The major problem in establishing WR systems in Africa is disabling elements in the policy environment. Drawing on experience from projects implemented in Africa during the last decade, the authors outline how this challenge can be addressed, the most crucial being to build strong stakeholder support behind the initiative.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Funding: The authors learnt the valuable lessons discussed in the article through their involvement in: (a) two DFID-funded research projects, from 1992 onwards; (b) DFID-funded monitoring of the implementation of a pilot inventory credit project in Ghana (1993-97) and; (c) the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) project in Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia (since 2000). The Zambia component of the CFC project, which is extensively discussed in the paper, has attracted co-financing from the Dutch Government, USAID (initially through the ZATAC, the Zambian Agribusiness Technical Assistance Centre), DFID, IFAD (through the SHEMP project) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA provided its support 'in kind', sending an experienced commodity marketing specialist to work with the team. The views expressed are exclusively those of authors and neither represent nor are endorsed in any way by the above-mentioned funding agencies. CFC reserves the exclusive right to the publication, in whatever form, of the results and technical outputs of the Project it has funded.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Warehouse receipts, Agricultural markets, Liberalisation, Sub-Saharan Africa
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 22:29
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/11766

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