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University of Fort Hare (2012)

An estimation of the effects of food aid on domestic food production and commercial food imports in Zimbabwe

Chiweta, Chenai

Titre : An estimation of the effects of food aid on domestic food production and commercial food imports in Zimbabwe

Auteur : Chiweta, Chenai

Université de soutenance : University of Fort Hare

Grade : MASTER OF SCIENCE IN AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS 2012

Résumé
Food aid and domestic food production capacities in Zimbabwe have been compromised by the poor performance in the country’s agricultural sector, which has necessitated an increase in and a continual need for humanitarian assistance over the past decade. The country’s commercial cereal food import capacity has not been an exception as it has also been greatly affected by the poor performance of the agricultural sector and the shortage of foreign currency that hit the country in the past few years. Secondary data on food aid, commercial cereal imports and cereal food production was obtained from World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) of Zimbabwe and from Zimbabwe Statistics (ZimSTATS) databases. This time series data was then analysed in the Vector Autoregression (VAR) analysis. Trends observed in the time series data reveal that commercial cereal food imports and cereal food aid inflows to Zimbabwe had been increasing between 1988 and 2008. Domestic cereal food production levels however were observed to have been declining within the same period. The restricted VAR model which was specified to investigate the short and long term effects of food aid on food production and on commercial food imports in the country revealed a low statistically significant positive relationship between domestic food production and food aid volumes. Results from the model also indicated a negative relationship between commercial food imports and food aid volumes. This means that as food aid volumes to Zimbabwe increase, the volume of commercial cereal food imported into Zimbabwe falls. This result therefore suggests that food aid in the country had a displacement effect on commercial cereal food imports in the short term. The results of the Granger causality test and the estimation of the Impulse Response Functions also helped to confirm and reinforce these findings from the vector error correction model. The conclusions drawn from the study were that the responsiveness of domestic food supply, that is, cereal production, to food aid inflows in the short term has been elastic. That is to say, an increase in food aid inflows would influence an increase in the level of domestic food production in the short term. However, in the long term, findings confirm that food aid does indeed discourage domestic food production in the country. Also, for the relationship between food aid and commercial food imports, it can be concluded from the study findings that food aid in the short term has caused a reduction in commercial food imports whereas in the long term, food aid inflows have actually stimulated the commercial food import capacity. In recommendation, the Government of Zimbabwe, the private and public institutions as well as the Non-Governmental Organisations should partner and work together in defining the criteria for vulnerability assessment, food aid targeting and distribution, and in the implementation of strategies for ensuring national food availability. Such partnerships would help in ensuring the sustainability of food aid and food security in Zimbabwe, which is the main goal.

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Page publiée le 4 octobre 2017