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Food sovereignty and agricultural trade policy commitments: How much leeway do West African nations have?

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  • Catherine Laroche Dupraz
  • Angèle Postolle

Abstract

The 2008 food crisis has challenged the political legitimacy and economic efficiency of the liberalization of international agricultural trade. An alternative vision defended by the food sovereignty movement is that long-term food security cannot rely on dependency on food imports, but must be built on the development of domestic production with enough barrier protection to shelter it from world price fluctuations and unfair trading. The purpose of this paper is to look into whether the West African nations can achieve food sovereignty given their various trade commitments and other external constraints. The particularity of our approach is to combine a historical economic analysis with a political approach to food sovereignty and trade commitments. Our results suggest that external brakes on the development of food sovereignty policies are marginal, as the countries still have unused room for manoeuvre to protect their smallholder agriculture under the terms of draft World Trade Organization agreements and Economic Partnership Agreements and under the international financial institutions’ recommendations. Rather, the international environment seems to be instrumented by West African states that do not manage to secure a national political consensus to drive structural reforms deemed vital and further the food security of the urban populations over the marginalized rural populations. Recently, the regional integration process has made headway with a common agricultural support and protection policy project that could herald an internal political balance more conducive to food-producing agriculture.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Laroche Dupraz & Angèle Postolle, 2011. "Food sovereignty and agricultural trade policy commitments: How much leeway do West African nations have?," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 11-03, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.
  • Handle: RePEc:rae:wpaper:201103
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Laroche Dupraz, Catherine & Huchet Bourdon, Marilyne, 2014. "Domestic support and border measures: some instruments to reduce vulnerability of food security to trade in developing countries," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182691, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. M. Huchet Bourdon & C. Laroche Dupraz, 2014. "National food security: a framework for public policy and international trade," FOODSECURE Working papers 17, LEI Wageningen UR.
    3. Laroche-Dupraz, Cathie & Huchet-Bourdon, Marilyne, 2016. "Agricultural support and vulnerability of food security to trade in developing countries," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 234941, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Fiamohe, Rose & Diallo, Souleymane & Diagne, Aliou & Agossadou, Arsene, 2015. "Impact of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff on the Rice Sector in West Africa," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211632, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Catherine Laroche-Dupraz & Marilyne Huchet-Bourdon, 2013. "Impact of domestic support and border measures for developing countries’ food security," Post-Print hal-01123056, HAL.
    6. Arlène Alpha & Samuel Gebreselassié, 2015. "Governing Food and Nutrition Security in Food-Importing and Aid-Recipient Countries: Burkina Faso and Ethiopia," FOODSECURE Working papers 34, LEI Wageningen UR.
    7. Falconnier, Gatien N. & Descheemaeker, Katrien & Van Mourik, Thomas A. & Sanogo, Ousmane M. & Giller, Ken E., 2015. "Understanding farm trajectories and development pathways: Two decades of change in southern Mali," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 210-222.
    8. C. Larochez-Dupraz & M. Huchet-Bourdon, 2016. "Agricultural support and vulnerability of food security to trade in developing countries," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(6), pages 1191-1206, December.
    9. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:578-590 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    food sovereignty; West Africa; protection; agricultural policy; WTO negotiations;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F50 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - General

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