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Forest Depletion and Food Security of Poor Rural Populations in Africa: Evidence from Cameroon


  • Daniel Gbetnkom


Forests play an important role in contributing to the food security of a large portion of Africa's food insecure. However, under current practices, this contribution is not sustainable because forests are experiencing a high rate of depletion in this continent. This paper investigates the immediate factors of deforestation in Cameroon in relation to food security of poor populations. Quantitative estimates show that cocoa producer prices, food crop prices and timber export price index on one hand, and the oil boom, the structural adjustment policies and the devaluation of the CFA franc on the other hand are quite important in stimulating the clearing of forests. Equally, the agricultural value added per hectare increases the profitability of maintaining forests. Finally, food security has a negative relationship with forest depletion. Therefore, in order to protect the remaining forest areas and render the contribution of forests to food security sustainable, attention to non-forest policies should be a first-order priority in the future. Copyright 2009 The author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:, Oxford University Press.

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  • Daniel Gbetnkom, 2009. "Forest Depletion and Food Security of Poor Rural Populations in Africa: Evidence from Cameroon," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(2), pages 261-286, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:18:y:2009:i:2:p:261-286

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Babigumira, Ronnie & Angelsen, Arild & Buis, Maarten & Bauch, Simone & Sunderland, Terry & Wunder, Sven, 2014. "Forest Clearing in Rural Livelihoods: Household-Level Global-Comparative Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(S1), pages 67-79.

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