Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Cereal food commodities in Eastern Africa: consumption - production gap trends and projections for 2020

Mkumbwa, Solomon S. (2011): Cereal food commodities in Eastern Africa: consumption - production gap trends and projections for 2020.

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Abstract

The present paper presents the supply and demand trends of maize, rice and wheat. It provides the supply and demand projections for 2015 and 2020. These projections have been based on change in productivity levels, changes in price, growth of population and income growth. The future supply-demand gap that has been mapped and projected for 2015 and 2020, has been discussed in the light of policy requirements. It is concluded as postulated by Dyson (2009) that an increase in total cereal demand is mainly due to growth in population. A diversification in consumption basket significantly away from maize towards more wheat and rice has been observed. On the supply side, production is constrained by low yield growths. This is more severe for maize. Since population growth is going to be the main element behind the expansion of the regional food demand over the short even to long terms time horizon, then yield growth will be the key to the future expansion of the region’s sustainable food supply. While in the short term imports are covering for the food gap, they may not be feasible in the medium to long term. Volatility of food and fuel prices on the global market makes reliance on distant sources for the bulky staple food commodities fiscally unsustainable, regardless of who is paying for it.

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