Macroeconomic adjustment and agricultural performance in Southern Africa

a quantitative overview

Romeo M. Bautista
tmd discussion paper

This paper describes, in quantitative terms, the macroeconomic adjustments effectively implemented and accompanying agricultural and overall economic performance, particularly since 1980, in four low-income countries in Southern Africa, namely, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Because the economic effects of macroeconomic adjustment have been confounded by the 1992 drought that caused an unprecedented disruption of agricultural production and trade in the region, a separate discussion of the post-1991 policy developments and economic performance in the four study countries is also given. Annual data published by the World Bank, IMF and FAO are used. Significant differences are found in the macroeconomic policy and agricultural performance indicators, which can be attributed to the differing nature and severity of the exogenous shocks (both interal and external) that buffeted the four economies during the period.