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Abstract

This paper aims to identify the geographic extent of major staple food market sheds in West Africa as well as the major trade corridors that link surplus producing areas with the deficit markets they serve. The method employed combines data on the spatial distribution of rural and urban population, maps of differing food staple zones, crop production data and consumption patterns as described in an array of recent household surveys to map major urban food markets as well as principal surplus production zones. Expert knowledge from traders and other market monitors in the region enable the authors to identify the major commodity flows linking the markets with their major supply zones. These efforts aim to summarize a large volume of information simply and clearly in market shed maps. The paper applies this method to map foodsheds for the region's major domestically produced food staple, sorghum and millet, and the major imported food, rice.

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