Food security and migration in Africa: a validation of theoretical links using case studies from literature


The connection between food security and migration is increasingly discussed by both international agencies and academic literature. However, despite several improvements, we continue to know little about the complex causal-effect relations that link these aspects and, in particular, how much migration patterns are affected by food security issues and how much, as a feedback, migration can affect food security, on both the origin and destination areas. This paper aims firstly to draw a general framework of this nexus and then to validate it using empirical literature on the African continent. A few common points can be emphasized for the continent: due to structural and familiar characteristics, different strategies based on opportunity costs or risk minimization (including food security aspects) may emerge; individuals often migrate following household strategies; multi-nodal households are emerging; land grabbing and land tenure security represent important drivers to be considered; emergencies or critical situations often cause the erosion of women rights. In many situations, the poverty trap prevents most food insecure households to leave marginal lands.