World Trade Organization’s Trade Liberalization Policy on Agriculture and Food Security in West Africa

Dr. Emeka C. Iloh, Ifeanyi P. Maduechesi, Dr. Chijioke Francis Onyebukwa & Queeneth O. Ekeocha


The study explores the link between WTO’s trade liberalization policy on agriculture and food security in West Africa. Specifically, it investigates whether the policy undermines food security in the sub-region by examining its impacts on food importation and food dumping. The study relied mainly on documentary evidence. Data were scooped from documents and annual publications of the WTO, UNCTAD, FAO, ECOWAS, and World Bank. The results of data analysis show that the increased dependency on international trade (as being championed by the WTO) by many countries in West Africa has a number of direct and indirect implications on the realization of food security in the sub-region. Importation not only exposes producers and consumers to increased vulnerability both to worsening terms of trade and to fluctuations in commodity prices, but also exposes the domestic food-producing industries to danger of extinction through steep competition. The study also found that relying on international trade for food supply encourages dumping of the excess products on developing countries at relatively cheaper prices. This harms domestic production and reduces the income of domestic farmers and other investors in the food production chain.

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