This study was carried out to analyse the effect of government’s trade policy on the supply of rice (imported and local) brands in three local government areas of Cross River State, Nigeria. The study captured two periods, July 2004 to February 2005, during which the Federal Government place Tariff on the importation of rice at 75% and the second period; March 2005 to October 2005 where the tariff was raised to 100% (Guardian Newspaper, 2003). Data for this study were collected from purposively selected rice traders in three case-study markets of Watt, Ika-Ika Oqua and Aningeje Markets representing Calabar South, Calabar Municipality and Akamkpa Local Government Areas Respectively. The data was collected over the period of 64 weeks. During the July 2004 to February 2005 period, 34,878.50 and 30,623.20 kg constituting 53.24 and 46.75% respectively of the total quantities of imported and local rice brands was bought for sale across the three markets. During the March 2005 to October 2005 period, the Federal Government raised the tariff on rice importation from 75 to 100%; this reflected in the quantity of imported and local rice bought for sale across the three markets given as 24,519.09 and 24,185.04 kg respectively constituting 50.34 and 49.66%, implying that increase in tariff rate from 75 to 100% was effective in altering the share of imported and local rice brands in the total quantities of rice bought for sale cross the three markets. The study recommends that tariff should be implemented strictly so as to help set up domestic rice production which would be sustained if Government embarks on research into development of high yielding rice varieties that will be supplied to farmers at low cost.
Key words: Importation, rice supply, tariff, trade policy.
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