In response to food security threats precipitated by poor weather, anticipated poor harvests or other unfavorable conditions, the Government of Tanzania has often used bans of crossborder
trade in staple foods as a policy tool.
The government views the ban as a means to reduce domestic prices and thereby increase short-term access to food for a substantial majority of the population. The very existence of these trade bans and their ad-hoc nature has generated heated public debate. Embedded in these debates is the important policy question of whether trade bans enhance the efficiency of the maize and rice value chains and permit the achievement of optimal returns to the producers This policy brief contributes to this debate by providing evidence from a study commissioned to look at the impact of cross-border trade bans