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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Food Crisis in West Africa: An Examination of Theoretical Approaches
Author:Blankson, Charles
Periodical:Rural Africana
Geographic term:West Africa
Subjects:food shortage
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Abstract:This article critically examines the theories advanced to explain the food crisis that West Africa has been experiencing over the past two decades, notably the neo-Malthusian overpopulation thesis, environmental determinism, technological determinism, underdevelopment theory, and State policy theory. It is argued that these theories tend to be partial, emphasizing single aspects of a very complex phenomenon. An alternative framework is proposed which identifies and incorporates the elements that are critical to understanding the crisis. Among these elements are: the changing forms of ownership of the means of production, particularly land; the nature and size of farms; household size in relation to land owned or not owned; utilization of household labour, especially that employed on other farms; the level of technology; the availability and accessibility of resources; and the various organizations and the groups they represent. Bibliogr., notes, ref.