Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Jerry Hall

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Variability and declining food production and accessibility in West Africa have characterised the food system in the region’s rural economy. These phenomenon have contributed to the fluctuation and declining per capita food supply and calorie intake, falling wages of farmers, rising food prices and increasing reliance on food imports and food aid by the governments and people of West Africa. The cause of the problem still remains an illusion and continues to baffle policy makers. Very often the problem is attributed to drought. However, to reduce the problem of household food insecurity to natural forces is to miss the centre of the issue and to exonerate political and economic institutions that, both by omission and commission, play significant roles in creating this unfortunate situation. Based on research information available for this study, this author is of strong conviction that political, economic and social factors are potent agents underlying household food insecurity in West Africa. Thus, one of the significant findings of the research is that, drought or food availability decline are not the potent factors responsible for food crisis in the study area. Rather, the breakdown of traditional coping mechanisms and entitlement failure (due to loss of income and rising food price) are responsible for household food insecurity in the study area. Furthermore, the research revealed that food crisis is not impacted on rural households with equal intensity. That is to say, there are differences in the impact of food crisis among various occupational households, and even among household members. Based on the research findings, the author recommends among others, the need to preserve and enhance local coping mechanisms, as well as to initiate development programmes that seek to channel investment resources to local farmers, and enhance the entitlement capacity of the rural people. The participation of the local people, especially women, in decision-making in regards to the designing, management, monitoring, and evaluating of food security measures were also recommended.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season