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Trade in agricultural products is of considerable importance to the economies of most African countries. Imports often play an important role in feeding a growing population. At the same time, they exert competitive pressure on internal production and therefore also put food security at risk. Here, it is the European Union that has above all been at the centre of criticism over many years because of its agricultural policy. Is this justified? With an account of poultry meat exports to West Africa, our authors show that there are no simple answers to this question.

Over the past ten years, poultry meat exports from the EU to West Africa more than doubled – reaching 274 million tons in 2015. Accounting for 50 per cent of all EU poultry exports to West Africa, Benin is the main target, followed by Ghana. But overall, the exports to West Africa only constitute slightly more than ten per cent of world-wide poultry meat exports from the EU. The Netherlands, Poland and France are the most important countries of origin within the EU.

The West African states themselves export only little in the poultry sector, and most of it is traded within the region itself. For example, to a small extent, Ghana above all exports live chicks to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Benin und Uganda.

Often, local poultry meat production in West Africa is insufficient for protein supply to the region’s constantly growing population, which, at around three per cent, is experiencing the highest population growth world-wide.

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