The Food Security Debate In West Africa Following The Wto Agreements On Agriculture
This paper examines the environment within which West African countries are designing their regional self-reliance food security strategy following the Uruguay Round Agreements on Agriculture (URAA). The self-reliance strategy combines regionally-coordinated domestic food production with food imports. Three aspects of the URAA-food security linkages were emphasized in this study. First, while the regional model may increase efficiency in regional food production and distribution systems, it may also restrain the flexibility and/or the effectiveness of using tariff protection when needed. Second, a formal test of structural change in food availability suggests that there have been increases in average per capita food supply in the post-URAA period. Third, under a scenario of URAA-led increases in food prices, food access may be weakened in West African net-food purchasing households, even when regional food production responded to price incentives. Besides the macro linkages emphasized in this study, microeconomic and anthropometric linkages between food security and URAA are equally important and should be addressed in subsequent studies.
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