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International trade and agricultural production: Evidence from the Southern African Development Community sub-region

Nicholas Ngepah ()

Development Southern Africa, 2014, vol. 31, issue 3, 494-514

Abstract: Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries have undertaken substantial reforms in market liberalisation policies and regional integration initiatives. Theory suggests that trade can affect output through the exploitation of comparative advantage, increasing return to scale, liberalisation policies and technology. This work investigates the impact of agricultural exports to, machinery and chemical imports from and tariffs on agricultural products by total partners to the Southern African Customs' Union, SADC, sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world on agricultural production. Following Hausman tests, three panel fixed-effect models are estimated. The first is for aggregate machinery imports, chemicals imports and agricultural exports. The second is for disaggregated exports and imports according to the respective destination and source regions above. The third is for aggregate imports and disaggregated tariffs implemented by the various export destination regions toward the SADC. The results agree with the theory that international trade is good for development. Agricultural market expansion through export opportunities and access to inputs are significant sources of agricultural production enhancement in the SADC region. Tariffs barriers to agricultural exports are found to be significant impediments to agricultural production. However, the disparity of effects by export destination and the insignificance of the impact of trade with the rest of Africa are worth emphasising.

Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2014.888333

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