The Impact of Commodity Price Changes on Rural Households: The Case of Uganda

Employing household survey data covering the periods 1992/93, 1995/96 and 1999/00, this paper shows for the case of Uganda that a coffee market liberalization followed by a price boom was associated with substantial reductions in poverty, which could even be sustained when prices went down again. Coffee is not planted by the richest farmers and the gains from higher coffee prices accrued to poorer and richer coffee farmers alike. Nor were poorer farmers hurt disproportionately when prices fell. In addition, we find strong spillovers from coffee production to other agriculture, which tends to favor the poor, and to non-agricultural activities. These multiplier effects are concentrated in coffee regions. In an economic environment characterized by a booming agricultural sector, coffee farmers were able to accommodate the negative price shock, in particular through agricultural diversification. General agricultural growth also cushioned possible negative multiplier effects in coffee regions. Overall, the case of coffee in Uganda thus lends support to the view that agricultural trade liberalization is beneficial for the poor

Authors

Mauricio Bussolo
Jann Lay

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Publication Date
JEL Classification
I, O, Q