Recent policy debate in the Sahel has focused on a regional protection zone for cereals. This paper discusses crosscountry evidence of consumption patterns and the sensitivity of these to policy variables, and considers potential income-distribution and efficiency impacts of a rice tariff increase. A tariff would hurt the poor in the short term because the poor depend to a large extent on rice as a “fast food,” purchased from street vendors. The trend toward rice consumption is a long-term, structural phenomenon, linked to urbanization, rather than to short-term price changes. Maize and millet/sorghum are substitutes in consumption, which should serve to encourage development of maize in the Guinean zone to help assure Sahel food security in drought years.
Cereals demand in the Sahel and potential impacts of regional cereals protection
Reardon, T. (1993). Cereals demand in the Sahel and potential impacts of regional cereals protection. World Development, 21(1), 17-35. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/0305-750X(93)90134-U