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Cross-border Trade and Food Security in West Africa - The Western Basin: Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal

Cross-border Trade and Food Security in West Africa - The Western Basin: Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal

Mar 2010

The western basin – defined for the purposes of this study as the market system linking Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, western Mali and Mauritania – hosts a variety long-distance trade flows that support the livelihoods and coping strategies of households vulnerable to food insecurity. When trade flows occur freely, the palm oil, livestock, cashew nut and groundnut businesses constitute opportunities for households in the basin to ensure their food security and cope with food crises. Economic and political shocks that the basin has experienced since 2007 have influenced its capacity to support household food security.

The study has identified a series of indicators to monitor in view of identifying risks to household food security. Specifically, economic trends in Senegal – whose demand lies at the heart of cross-border trade in the western basin - and exchange rate variations will be monitored closely. The present study also advocates for an improvement of national and regional information systems, a prerequisite for efficient public action.