Of saviours and punks: the political economy of the Nile perch marketing chain in Tanzania

Of saviours and punks: the political economy of the Nile perch marketing chain in Tanzania

The paper is a fieldwork-based case study of the commodity chain for the Nile Perch fish from Lake Victoria, Tanzania. This fish first began apperaring in significant numbers in the lake in the early 1980s and within a few years a large artisanal fishery developed around it. Commodity chain analysis focuses on how a commodity is produced, marketed, distributed and consumed, which groups are involved in each of these stages, how they are organised and how they interrelate. The aim is to identify principles of market structure andorganisation and the basic pattern of distribution of earnings and profits. The paper traces the restructuring of the market for Nile Perch especially after the opening of the first industrial processing plants on the lake in 1990. It links this analysis to issues concerning the social and economic characteristics of marketing chains in marginal economies, and to ones concerning the sustainability of economic growth based on unregulated natural resource extraction.

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