Keywords: economic partnership agreements, Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, common agricultural policy, ECOWAP, Nigeria, common external tariffs, staple diets, European Union, EU, agriculture, food production, partial equilibrium analysis, crops, food security, rice, cassava, sorghum, aggregate imports, Africa, Caribbean, Pacific nations, liability, scientific enquiry
Economic partnership agreements, common external tariff and prospects for staple food items in Nigeria
This paper looks into the potential impacts of the proposed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the European Union (EU) on agriculture and food production in Nigeria. Using a partial equilibrium analysis, it assesses possible changes in production arising from the implementation of a Common External Tariff (CET) and/or EPA on three crops considered critical for livelihoods and food security: rice, cassava and sorghum. Results indicate that aggregate imports will increase, leading to possible crowding out of domestic agricultural output given their low processing quality. The production of rice and sorghum will suffer major falls. The fall in cassava, presently not much imported, will be less but not altogether negligible. The work recommends closer attention to the provisions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Common Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP) as a possible stop-gap measure to ameliorate the negative consequences of the EPA if it must be adopted in Nigeria.