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Restricting maize imports bad idea during a pandemic

sappo-mielieinvoere

Wandile Sihlobo, 25 May 2020

Since the pandemic started, several countries have adopted restrictive trade policy approaches such as export bans and export quotas.

The justification for such policies was consumer focused, as the countries needed to ensure domestic food security during this pandemic. Fortunately, when International Grains Council data showed ample global grain supplies in the 2019/20 and prospects for a larger crop in the 2020/21 production season; countries such as Russia, Cambodia and Vietnam, among others, reversed these protectionist policies. These countries had intended to restrict their wheat and rice trade.

Unfortunately, on the African continent we continue to witness restrictive trade policy, although the policies are producer focused instead of consumer focused as has been the case in other continents.
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