Share of regional food GDP by country, 2010

The city is the engine of the food economy: Rural populations tend to concentrate in areas near cities. The growth of cities therefore stimulates the integration of rural and urban areas, and the vector of integration is trade. Markets provide at least two-thirds of household food consumption in West Africa. In addition, about one-quarter of the rural population works outside of the agricultural, livestock and fisheries sectors. The urban, informal sector largely depends on transportation, processing and the sale of food products. A food economy is rapidly developing between rural and urban areas, which, in 2010, was estimated at USD 178 billion, or 36% of the regional GDP.

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