Food dependency in Sub Saharan Africa: Investigations into sources and policy debates

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Economics
Author Arment, C. Jean
Title Food dependency in Sub Saharan Africa: Investigations into sources and policy debates
Date 2018
Description This dissertation seeks to examine the question of why still largely agrarian and still largely nonindustrialized countries in SSA rely on grain imports to feed substantial portions of their populations at the expense of their own domestic agricultural sectors. Chapter 1 begins by tracing the beginnings of this dependency as it arose in tandem with the attention of international attention to the issue of food security that followed on the heels of the first postwar (early 1970s) food crisis. A review of the discourse and policy debates surrounding that issue over subsequent decades shows that food dependency was an inevitable outcome of the free market-open economy based policy solution to food security that emerged from the First (1975) World Food Summit. Chapter 2 employs a 44-country, 51-year panel within the context of Arthur Lewis' classical dual economy "development with unlimited supplies of labor" framework in which food imports potentially can substitute for increased productivity in domestic agriculture to prevent rising wages and a halt to a nascent process of capital accumulation. Results find no significant correlations between the economic modernization indicators and increasing food dependency as measured by imported grain levels. Results do suggest a significant association between increasing food dependency and panel eras specified by subsequent trade and policy regimes. More importantly, empirical results call for a re-evaluation of Lewis' original development model to focus on the role played by a supported food subsistence sector in creating economic possibilities for development. Chapter 3 takes a iv closer look at the grain import data of Chapter 2 in order to examine the volatility in those time series for nearly every country in the panel. First, grain import "acceleration episodes" are identified in accordance with defined criteria. Potential correlates of the identified episodes are then sought in categories of economic reform, external shocks, polity and civil conflict, and macroeconomic indicators. Results indicate likely correlations with low commodity price shocks, regime changes, and with trade openness as proxied by peak trade ratios at lower significance levels.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Dissertation Institution Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management (c) C. Jean Arment
Format Medium application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s64b8wcx
Setname ir_etd
ID 1671109
Reference URL
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