Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics
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Article Number - 95CCE5541253

Vol.5(11), pp. 425-443 , November 2013
DOI: 10.5897/JDAE2013.0457
ISSN: 2006-9774


Understanding the performance of food production in sub-Saharan Africa and its implications for food security

M. Demeke
  • M. Demeke
  • Agricultural Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations, Rome 00153, Italy.
  • Google Scholar
F. Di Marcantonio
  • F. Di Marcantonio
  • Agricultural Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations, Rome 00153, Italy.
  • Google Scholar
  • Morales-Opazo
  • European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Edificio Expo, c/Inca Garcilaso 3, 41092 Seville, Spain.
  • Google Scholar

 Accepted: 27 July 2013  Published: 30 November 2013

Copyright © 2013 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0

The performance of the food production sector in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is critical for a number of reasons. Domestic production is the principal avenue to ensuring access to affordable food in poor countries with limited capacity to import food. The multiplier effect of sustainable food production on the economy is considerable as it has direct linkage with other activities such as transportation, marketing, tourism and local trade. In countries where the growth of food production outpaces demand, social and political harmony as well as macroeconomic stability can be maintained, paving the way for sustained economic growth. This paper examines changes in food production performance among 30 SSA countries over the period of 1968 to 2008. The results support previous findings that not many countries have managed to achieve a food production growth rate in excess of 3% per annum. Annual food production performance averaged 3% or more in 60% of the sample countries following the policy reforms. Nevertheless, rates of output growth varied from one period to the other and the recent improved performances were achieved not only through unsustainable expansion of land under cultivation, but also failed to satisfy the rapidly growing food demand. With domestic supply lagging behind, most countries have experienced unaffordable food import bills. Addressing political instability and building institutions that foster partnership between governments, farmers, traders and other operators along the food value chain to address market failures and inefficiencies in input, output, credit and risk managementis critical to ensure food availability, accessibility and stability in SSA.


Key words: Sub-Saharan Africa, food production performance, food security.

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APA (2013). Understanding the performance of food production in sub-Saharan Africa and its implications for food security. Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics, 5(11), 425-443.
Chicago M. Demeke, F. Di Marcantonio and C. Morales-Opazo,. "Understanding the performance of food production in sub-Saharan Africa and its implications for food security." Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics 5, no. 11 (2013): 425-443.
MLA M. Demeke, et al. "Understanding the performance of food production in sub-Saharan Africa and its implications for food security." Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics 5.11 (2013): 425-443.
DOI 10.5897/JDAE2013.0457

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