Sub-Saharan Africa's persistent food insecurity and vulnerability to famine reflects failures of understanding as much as failures of interventions. "Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa" aims to contribute towards an improved understanding for more effective food security policy. This book brings together 11 substantial chapters on critical food security issues, and draws on a variety of disciplinary perspectives, from agricultural economics to nutrition. Most contributions reflect an evolution of thinking during the 1990s. Food insecurity is no longer seen simply as a problem of agriculture and a failure of food production at the national level, but instead as a failure of livelihoods to guarantee access to sufficient food at household level. This conceptual shift and related arguments are presented in a clear and accessible way for the non-specialist reader, and are illustrated with empirical data and case studies from across the sub-continent.
Stephen Devereux is a development economist at IDS Sussex. He is the author of Theories of Famine and has a long interest in food security and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. Simon Maxwell was Director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London between 1997-2009. He previously worked overseas for ten years, in Kenya, India and Bolivia; and from 1981-1997 was a Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, latterly as Programme Manager for Poverty, Food Security and the Environment.