Can local products compete against imports in West Africa? Supply-and demand-side perspectives on chicken, rice, and tilapia in Accra, Ghana: uri icon

abstract

  • This paper examines the prospects for import substitution in West Africa. We use market surveys, choice experiments, and experimental auctions with 1322 consumers to assess price and quality competitiveness of locally produced chicken, rice, and tilapia in Accra, Ghana. Our findings suggest that among the three products, rice has the lowest prospects for import substitution, due to supplyand demand-side constraints to local competitiveness. For rice, consumers prefer imported products, they perceive imports as having better quality than local products, and they are willing to pay a premium for imports. For chicken, consumers have a strong preference for local products, but the potential for expanding chicken production can only be met if production and processing costs can be reduced significantly to boost price competitiveness. For tilapia, a high preference for freshness provides a natural barrier to import entry, and the comparative advantage of local production can be enhanced further. The findings imply that import substitution policies would be more successful if focused on production cost reductions. Although local producers face steep price competition from imports, consumer preferences for non-price attributes of local products offer an opportunity for demand-side policies to increase quality competitiveness.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020