Determinants of agricultural exports: The case of Cameroon

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Gbetnkom, Daniel
Khan, Sunday A.
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This paper investigates the determinants of three agricultural exports from Cameroon between 1971/72 and 1995/1996. Export supply functions are specified and estimated for the three export crops chosen: cocoa, coffee and banana. Quantitative estimates obtained from the ordinary least squares (OLS) estimation procedure indicate the following: the response of export supply of all the crops to relative price changes is positive, but fairly significant. This can be attributed to the price constraining nature of the international markets for these commodities. Changes in the nature of the road network positively affect the export supply of cocoa, coffee and banana. More credit to crop exporters has a significant and positive influence on the export supply of all the crops. Equally, rainfall’s influence on the growth of the three commodities is positive, but significant only for cocoa and coffee. Finally, structural adjustment dummies show a positive effect on the export supply of crops for policies implemented. These results point to two conclusions. First, the marginal sensitivity of crops to the relative price changes means that the price incentives are not sufficient to generate desired export supply of agricultural commodities in Cameroon. Second, the significant sensitivity of crops under consideration to the availability of credit to exporters, the improved road networks and the specific policy changes implemented in the framework of the SAP implies that attempts to increase the export supply of agricultural crops in Cameroon should focus on these variables.