An assessment of the effects of the trade liberalization and related policies on the domestic rice industry in Ghana

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Prior to the trade liberalization, a number of consumer commodities, particularly rice enjoyed a substantial protection from international prices. Restrictions generally took the form of higher tariffs on imports, quantitative controls and administrative regulations. The institution of the trade liberalization saw the abolishing of the import licensing and quantitative restrictions. Consequently, the local market in Ghana has been inundated with cheap imported rice. The main objective of this study is to assess the effect rice trade liberalization and its related policies on the domestic rice industry in Ghana An econometrical analysis of secondary data using the multiple regression models was applied. The study indicated that trade liberalization resulted in decreased domestic producer price of milled rice so the hypothesis that trade liberalization did not have a significant impact on the producer price of rice in Ghana was rejected. The study also found a rise in the area under rice cultivation and a decline in the annual growth rate of rice production in the post-liberalization era. This was corroborated by the results of a survey which was carried out among rice farmers in the Northern Region. Findings from the study also indicated that rice consumption ceteris paribus has increased in the era of the trade liberalization. However, the increase in the demand for rice cannot be attributed to the trade liberalization alone but other factors like the change in the consumption patterns of consumers, urbanization and economic growth. The study concluded that, on the whole, the trade liberalization has impacted negatively on the domestic rice industry in Ghana. 
A thesis submitted to the Department of Agricultural Economics AgriBusiness and Extension, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of Philosophy degree in Agricultural Economics, 2006