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

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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.

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We thank the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), Accra, Ghana, and the African Climate Policy Centre of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa for respectively hosting and sponsoring the study. We are also grateful to Dr. Elias T. Ayuk, Dr. Sylla, and the CGIAR research group.

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Correspondence to Aklesso Y. G. Egbendewe.

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Egbendewe, A.Y., Lokonon, B.O.K., Atewemba, C. et al. Can intra-regional food trade increase food availability in the context of global climatic change in West Africa?. Climatic Change 145, 101–116 (2017).

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