West African Trade: A Study of Competition, Oligopoly and Monopoly in a Changing Economy

By P. T. Bauer | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER 18
ASPECTS OF COMPETITION IN PRODUCE BUYING

There has been repeated reference in previous chapters to the presence of competition in branches of external trade which appear to be dominated by a few firms and in which market-sharing agreements operate. This chapter and the appended note present information on the operation of competition under apparently unpropitious, and certainly unexpected, conditions. The bulk of the material is derived from the groundnut trade. Certain well-documented episodes in the history of that trade are of much interest for this study.


1. THE ROLE OF TRADERS IN THE GROWTH OF THE NIGERIAN GROUNDNUT INDUSTRY

In discussions of the rapid growth of the Nigerian groundnut industry the two influences most frequently mentioned are the extension of the railway to Kano and the establishment of law and order over the previously turbulent regions of northern Nigeria. There were, however, two further indispensable factors. One of these was the initiative and enterprise of the Hausa peasant who rapidly extended the cultivation of this crop over large areas. The other factor was the activity of European and Levantine shippers and of Levantine and African merchants, who brought consumer goods, which served as an inducement for the cultivation of a cash crop, within the reach of the peasants of these large and often remote regions. The merchants also brought into being organizations which were able to arrange for the collection and removal of very large volumes of produce, originating in areas from eight hundred to eleven hundred miles from the coast.

The large European firms which had operated in southern Nigeria before the rise of the groundnut industry soon established themselves in the north, both for the sale of merchandise and for the purchase of groundnuts. Besides the large European firms there were also a number of Levantine traders acting both as shippers and as intermediaries, especially in groundnut buying.

There were informal market-sharing arrangements between the large European firms by the early 1920's, and a formal groundnut-buying syndicate was established in 1926. The membership of this syndicate was repeatedly extended. By the mid-1930's it comprised several of the

-228-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
West African Trade: A Study of Competition, Oligopoly and Monopoly in a Changing Economy
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 450

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?