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Feeding West Africa: An Agenda for Regional Trade

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Wednesday, 05 August 2015

Feeding West Africa: An Agenda for Regional Trade

The recent publication by the World Bank from the Africa Trade and Competitiveness Practice underscores the importance of a regional approach of agricultural production for food security. In West Africa, agriculture employs 60% of the labor force and Staple foods, including livestock and meat, cereals, pulses, roots and tubers represent the main source of calories. However, the report notes that the region is highly dependent on imports , which is evidenced by the tripling of imported food products over the past ten years.  The report also notes that the physical nature of West Africa’s agro-ecological zones alone provides a strong rationale for regional collaboration, with soil and rainfall patterns cutting across neighboring countries and creating natural, cross-border economic markets. A detailed map shows a geo-simulation on six member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) - Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Niger - and visually demonstrated this.

Source: blogs.worldbank.org