Version Française Horus Groupe

Studies conducted for institutions

Policies of Liberalisation

Economic liberalisation has been in progress for many years in developing countries, most often under the pressure of donors. This liberalisation aims at improving the flow and efficiency of diverse activities, and in the case of agricultural sub-sectors, it aims at improving the percentage of the added value due to farmers.


Although the final objective is well understood, the ways to achieve it is made difficult by the fact that the actors are unequally prepared or not prepared either to function on a contractual model (rather than an administered model) or to take responsibility for duties previously carried out by the state. A total and immediate liberalisation would inevitably lead to disorganisation in the sub-sectors at the expense of farmers, who are generally disorganised and located at the end of the supply chain and consequently are generally the weakest actors economically.


Horus-Entreprises’ views on this field are based on the following principles :

  • Liberalisation of the agricultural sub-sectors when justified must be prepared carefully and implemented progressively. More particularly, it must be based on a thorough diagnosis of the sub-sector, its main actors and its efficiency or bottleneck factors.
  • Some functions cannot be totally managed by the market mechanisms, as consequences could be harmful for the future of the sub-sector. For example, it is absolutely necessary that the liberalisation of the cotton sub-sectors takes place with a parallel mechanism implemented to guarantee the payback of input credits, otherwise banks will withdraw and farmers will lose access to input funds.
  • Some supportive actions must be defined fairly allowing the concerned actors to become more professional, to assume responsibility in an effective way for some of the functions previously carried out by the State and to negotiate on equal terms.
  • Liberalisation normally comes with an increased openness of the markets.  It is therefore important to implement a regulatory framework for imports which, while respecting the WTO principles and the states commitments, allows actors to benefit from sufficient but not excessive protection, while being protected against abnormally low price imports ;
  • The state retains an important role in a liberalised economy; it is therefore very important to define the limits of its intervention (implementation and enforcement of the regulatory framework, taxation, quality standards) and to give it the means (human, financial, …) to play its role with the objective of increasing efficiency.


Horus-Entreprises has intervened in a context of liberalisation :

  • in the cotton sub-sector in Mali, in Benin, in Togo, in Burkina ;
  • in the sugar sub-sector in Ivory Coast, in Madagascar, in Burkina Faso ;
  • in the oil palm sub-sector in Ivory Coast ;
  • in the soft wheat sub-sector in Morocco ;
  • in the rice sub-sector in Burkina Faso.