Essays on Agri-food markets in West and Central Africa

The cumulative dissertation presents eight contributions that attempt to shed light on the issues regarding price transmission and cost pass-through on agri-food supply chains and value chains in West and Central Africa.

Given recent attempts on trade expansion in Sub-Sahara Africa, price signals are of crucial importance for the success and better performance of markets as they still account for a small percentage of global trade. To this end, chapters 2, 3 and 4 investigate domestic and regional markets across food categories using time series and panel models. Findings lend support to the underlying necessity to explore market opportunities that can facilitate more symmetric price responses and boost market performance for broader outcomes. With rapid globalisation and the adoption of new information and technologies whereby payments are increasingly becoming cashless, chapter 5 and 6 investigate the impact of price transmission on the vertical food chain. Using a panel error correction model, findings from chapter 5 show that the use of cashless payments is associated with faster speeds of disequilibrium adjustments back to the long-run equilibrium. To account for non-linearities, chapter 6 further investigates the impact of mobile money on asymmetric price transmission. It is empirically revealed that the adjustment speeds become more symmetric when more transactions are done cashless. Price adjustment paths favour the wholesaler for more cash transactions. This shifts to the retailers when more transactions are cashless. Given the pressures on oilseed crops and their oil markets downstream for alternate uses beyond food, Chapters 7, 8 and 9 examine the value chains vertically, as well as spatial price linkages in these markets. To the extent of these food chains’ significant convergence of producer prices and price flow trends, empirical insights largely point to the correlations between the upstream and downstream markets.  


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