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

By P. T. Bauer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 21
THE SCOPE AND POWERS OF THE MARKETING BOARDS

1. LIST OF THE WEST AFRICAN MARKETING BOARDS

Statutory marketing boards operate in all four British West African colonies. The following is a list of the boards.

Nigeria: Nigeria Cocoa Marketing Board (established 1947).
Nigeria Groundnut Marketing Board (established 1949).
Nigeria Oil Palm Produce Marketing Board (established
1949).
Nigeria Cotton Marketing Board (established 1949).
Gold Coast: Gold Coast Cocoa Marketing Board (established 1947).
Gold Coast Agricultural Products Marketing Board (estab-
lished 1949).
Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone Agricultural Marketing Board (established
1949).
Gambia: Gambia Oil Seeds Marketing Board (established 1949).

In Nigeria in 1951 the four boards controlled 69% by value of all exports and 78% of all non-mineral exports. In the Gold Coast the corresponding percentages were 69 and 90%. In Sierra Leone and the Gambia the percentages tend to be rather higher. In all four colonies the marketing boards control practically 100% of agricultural exports produced by Africans, including quite minor and even insignificant production. Thus in Nigeria, the Groundnut Marketing Board now controls sunflower seed, which is not even listed in the trade returns.


2. POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARDS

The functions of the Gold Coast Cocoa Marketing Board are statutorily defined in these terms:1

It shall be the duty of the Board to secure the most favourable arrangements for the purchase, grading, export and selling of Gold Coast cocoa, and to assist in the development by all possible means of the cocoa industry of the Gold Coast for the benefit and prosperity of the producers.

The statutes establishing the other boards contain similar clauses.

These provisions are no exception to the general tendency for such 'objects clauses' to be vague and indefinite. But it is noteworthy that

____________________
1
Gold Coast Ordinance No. 16 of 1947.

-276-

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