chapter  24
26 Pages

THE ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT OF THE PRICE POLICIES OF THE MARKETING BOARDS

T H E A R G U M E N T S I N S U P P O R T O F T H E P R I C E P O L I C I E S O F T H E M A R K E T I N G BOARDS1

It was suggested at the end of the preceding chapter that the boards and their policies are best seen as instruments for a large measure of socialization of peasant agriculture in West Africa. This aspect of their operations does not seem to have been explicitly recognized, and it has certainly not been advanced in support of their policies. But as already stated it would be inappropriate to examine this issue here. On the other hand, it is legitimate, and indeed necessary, to examine the arguments generally advanced in support of the policies of the boards, whether by their own spokesmen or by influential supporters of these statutory monop~lies.~

The retention over a number of years of a large part of the sales proceeds from producers and the accumulation of surpluses on the scale indicated in the preceding chapters in clear contrast to specific formal official undertakings would require detailed and logical explanation and justification. Although there are certain discernible recurrent themes in the pronouncements of their spokesmen, the statements and notices issued on behalf of the boards and the memoranda circulated by their chairmen, the boards do not seem to have presented a systematic or coherent exposition of the reasons underlying their austere price policies.