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Can intra-regional food trade increase food availability in the context of global climatic change in West Africa?

Egbendewe, Aklesso Y. G., Lokonon, Boris Odilon Kounagbè, Atewemba, Calvin, Coulibaly, Naga
Climatic change 2017 v.145 no.1-2 pp. 101-116
bioeconomics, climate change, climatic factors, crop yield, cropland, food availability, imports, models, socioeconomics, tariffs, Western Africa
This paper investigates the role of intra-regional trade on food availability within the context of global climatic change in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). To that end, the study uses a module of trade cost minimization built within a bio-economic optimization model of cropland allocation. The results show that the climate-induced trade pattern in ECOWAS depends on the prevailing socio-economic conditions during the century. No specific pattern of trade flows is predicted but several countries may become dependent on food imports outside of ECOWAS. An adjustment of the common external tariffs (CET) may reduce food import costs. Also, doubling crop yields by 2050 could significantly reduce outside dependence. Finally, actions are urgently needed to be taken to foster agricultural production in ECOWAS.