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Settlement, Market and Food Security

image of Settlement, Market and Food Security

Settlement dynamics have been reshaping West Africa’s social and economic geography. These spatial transformations – high urbanisation and economic concentration – favour the development of market-oriented agriculture.

With the population of West Africa set to double by 2050, agricultural production systems will undergo far-reaching transformations. To support these transformations, policies need to be spatially targeted, improve availability of market information and broaden the field of food security to policy domains beyond agriculture. They need to rely on homogeneous and reliable data – not available at present – particularly for key variables such as non-agricultural and agricultural population, marketed production and regional trade.

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A review of past trends on settlement, agriculture and food insecurity

Sahel and West Africa Club

Between 1950 and 2010, West Africa’s population grew from 72 million to 290 million (Figure 1.1). West Africa accounts for 28% of the continent’s total population. In 2012, the total population of West Africa exceeded 300 million. If taken as a single country, it would be the fourth largest country in the world after China, India and the USA (seventh in 1950). In looking at current projections, West Africa will have more inhabitants than the USA before 2020. Its population growth averaged 2.3%, with a peak of 2.7% in the early 1980s. The population of West Africa continues to grow at 2.2%

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