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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:State Agrarian Policies and Periodic Markets in Ethiopia
Author:Lemma, Shimekit
Periodical:Journal of Ethiopian Studies
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Ethiopia
Northeast Africa
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Politics and Government
Agriculture, Agronomy, Forestry
Agrarian policy
Agricultural markets
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/44259275
Abstract:Policymakers in pre-1974 Ethiopia were largely oblivious to the periodic markets which are a prominent feature of the country's rural life. In socialist Ethiopia, 1974-1990, extensive State intervention in the country's economic and social life included a ban on weekday markets, with the aim of increasing agricultural productivity by forcing peasants to spend less time on trade. The policy was introduced in Southwest Shewa in 1986. Based on interviews with 600 market users (produce sellers and consumers), 600 traders, and 33 administrators, in 33 systematically selected representative periodical market centres of Southwest Shewa, the present author examines the impact of the policy on the periodic market system of the study area. He notes a reduction in the number of market days (but not in the number of market centres), the limited popularity of weekend markets, a decline in market attendance at both urban and rural markets, a declining number of visits per week by all types of market users, a change in the duration of market trips with an overall significant reduction in the distances travelled by all market users, and a possible change in commodity flow patterns. Given the lack of congruence between traditional market behaviour and the schedule imposed by the government, popular resistance to the policy was the norm in most districts. In 1988-1989 weekday market trade began to reemerge and new daily street markets appeared. In sum, the policy was misguided. It reduced the flow of peasants and traders to market, accentuated the region's transport problems, and disrupted the flow of information throughout the regional market system, affecting price coordination and reducing market efficiency. Bibliogr.