Agriculture, Food and Jobs in West Africa

  • 20th April 2018
  • by secretary
OECD, April 2018. 32 pages

The food economy is the biggest employer in West Africa accounting for 66% of total employment. While the majority of food economy jobs are in agriculture, off-farm employment in food-related manufacturing and service activities is increasing as the food economy adapts to rapid population growth, urbanisation and rising incomes.

This paper quantifies and describes the structure of employment in the food economy across four broad segments of activities:

  • agriculture, 
  • processing, 
  • marketing and 
  • food-away-from home. 
It examines some of the emerging spatial implications, including rural-urban linkages and rural employment diversification, which are related to the transformations that are reshaping this sector. It then puts forward policy considerations for designing targeted employment strategies that leverage the links between agricultural productivity, off-farm employment and rural-urban areas and that ensure inclusiveness, particularly for youth and women.

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Also available in: French

Also in the West African Papers series