Agricultural Growth in West Africa: Market and Policy Drivers

Agricultural Growth in West Africa (AGWA)

Market and Policy Drivers

Frank Hollinger
(Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
John M. Staatz
(Michigan State University)

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Copublished by
the African Development Bank (AfDB),
the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Rome, 2015


West African Agriculture is at a turning point. The combination of strong demand growth, sustained economic growth, higher global agricultural prices, and an improved policy environment has generated the most conducive conditions for Agricultural growth in over 30 years. West African countries and their Development Partners now clearly recognize the sector’s vital importance for broad-based growth, food security, improved nutrition and poverty reduction. At the same time, a combination of old and new challenges ranging from climate change to increased price volatility threaten the ability of West Africans to seize these opportunities.

In view of the challenges and opportunities facing West African Agriculture, the African Development Bank (AfDB), with support from the Government of France, partnered with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to conduct a joint analytical study entitled Agricultural Growth in West Africa (AGWA): Market and Policy Drivers. The study contributes to a better understanding of the evolving context for growth in West Africa’s agrifood sector by: (1) examining the drivers and trends affecting the demand for and supply of agrifood products, (2) evaluating the performance of the Agricultural sector and related policies in the light of those trends and (3) distilling the main implications for future policy priorities.

Table of contents

Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Boxes
List of Acronyms
Major Findings




Chapter 1. Introduction




Transformation of Agrifood Systems in West Africa: Drivers and Trends


   Chapter 2. Drivers of Structural Change in West African Agriculture


   Chapter 3. Production Response


   Chapter 4. Trade Response


   Focus Section A: Food Price Volatility in West Africa: Impacts, Causes, and Policy Options




Demand and Consumption Trends in West Africa


   Chapter 5. Trends in Apparent Per Capita Food Consumption


   Chapter 6. How do Urbanization and Income Levels affect Food Consumption? Insights
   from Budget-Consumption Studies


   Chapter 7. The Rising Middle Class and Evolving Food Demand in Ghana and Nigeria




How are West African Agrifood Systems Responding to Market Trends?


   Chapter 8. Modern Food Retailing in West Africa: Emerging Trends and Outlook


   Chapter 9. Agroprocessing and Agro-industries: Current State, Opportunities and Challenges


   Chapter 10. Response of Selected Value Chains




Policies for Agrifood Systems Development in West Africa


   Chapter 11. National and Regional Agricultural Policies: Evolution and Current Challenges


   Focus Section B: Stakeholder Involvement in Policy Development and Implementation


   Focus Section C: Improving Access to Fertilizers, Improved Seeds, Pesticides and Veterinary
   Inputs in Policy Development and Implementation


   Focus Section D: Policies Regarding Land Tenure and Water Rights


   Chapter 12. Trade Policy


   Chapter 13. Main Findings, Policy Implications and the Way Forward




Selected figures in high-resolution


   Figure 2.1 Population growth patterns in West Africa (High Res.)


   Figure 2.2 Projected urban growth rates in West Africa, 2010-2020 (High Res.)


   Figure 4.14 Regional Ruminant Livestock Trade Flows, 2010 (High Res.)


   Figure 10.1 Rice production basins in West Africa (High Res.)


   Figure 10.4 Cowpea production and trade flows in West Africa (High Res.)


   Figure 12.2 Road Barriers to Trade in West Africa, April-June, 2010 (High Res.)

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