The Drivers of Maize Area Expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa. How Policies to Boost Maize Production Overlook the Interests of Smallholder Farmers | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
mars 2020
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© 2020 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

Maize has become the second most produced crop in the world. Specifically, in sub-Saharan Africa, global statistics show that more and more land is being used for (small-scale) maize production to meet future food demands. From 2007 to 2017, the area on which maize is grown in sub-Saharan Africa has increased by almost 60%. This rate of expansion is considered unsustainable and is expected to come at the expense of crop diversity and the environment. Based on available literature, this paper explores the political and economic processes that contributed to the increased use of land for maize production in sub-Saharan Africa. It discusses population growth as an important driver. Moreover, it unravels some of the politics and narratives triggered by climate change that have paved the way for policy measures that aimed to boost maize production in the region. These measures, which often emphasize the need for increased production, the need for new technologies and resource scarcity, overlook the largest group of maize producers that are least powerful, but most crucial for food security in sub-Saharan Africa: smallholder farmers.

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Santpoort, Romy


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