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Strategies for coping with food consumption shortage in the Mandara Mountains region of North Cameroon

By David J. Campbell and David D. Trechter

Abstract

Two major approaches to the question of food shortage in Africa have emerged. One discusses the food deficits of different communities and the other has focused upon the provision of food relief from external sources. The success of those concerned with external relief has been constrained by the relative insensitivity of their warning systems to local food supply conditions. This paper draws upon research in the Mandara Mountains region of Cameroon to argue that monitoring of community-level responses to food shortage can provide an early warning of impending severe food deficits which may enable more rapid provision of external assistance.

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