25 April 2019

South Africa: Fowl Play - How Government Is Siding With the Big SA Poultry Industry Players

analysis

Once again there is a whole lot of fuss and feathers flying about chicken legs, and how much they should cost. It may seem like a chicken feed-sized argument, but it bears directly on the outcome of the transformation project for South Africa's agricultural sector, and how much a fried chicken family pack will actually cost consumers all around the nation.

A few years ago, we wrote about the US-South African chicken war, just after the African Growth and Opportunity Act had been renewed by the US Congress for the next 10 years until 2025. Back then, a bit of public, albeit still-diplomatic brawl broke out between the two nations over American chicken exports to South Africa.

In real terms, this shouldn't have been all that much of an issue. Agoa was not a binationally negotiated trade treaty, but a unilaterally granted trade concession from the US to qualifying African nations to gain the right to export their goods to America, duty-free, and there wasn't much chicken at stake, really.

The point to Agoa was a public policy syllogism that argued increased African exports would stimulate growth in those African nations; more economic growth would lead to greater economic stability;...

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