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The purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between food aid and food production in thirty-six Sub-Saharan African countries over an eleven year period. Local food production was used as a dependent variable in a pooled cross sectional time series statistical model with food aid, GNP per capita, population, urbanization, literacy rates, regime type, and rainfall used as explanatory variables. The statistical model was supplemented with four cases pertaining to agricultural food policies and politics in Botswana, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Both internal and external constraints have contributed to the food crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa. The relationship between food aid and food production was mixed, revealing that food aid had impacts on local food production, particularly in food deficit countries. However, it also revealed that food aid in itself is useful if it is dovetailed with food production strategies in the recipient countries. The case studies showed variations in terms of agricultural policies and how economic structural distortions and political guidelines have affected some countries like Kenya and Botswana, while Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe were able to sustain agricultural productivity, especially in the food producing sector. Most of the governments in Sub-Saharan Africa spend on the average about 5 percent of their expenditures on the agricultural sector. Thus governments which had severe food deficits and had become used to receiving food aid, have basically included food aid in their annual food needs assessment, thus reducing the need to invest more resources in local food production. Food aid is generally distributed by recipient governments and non-governmental agencies, but food aid can be used by policy makers in the short term to meet local needs and satisfy political constituencies particularly, in the urban centers. Food aid becomes more permanent when the food received cannot be produced locally as, overtime, urban consumers change their taste preferences at the expense of locally produced food. Thus a donor nation can benefit in the long term in that it is gradually creating a market for future exports once the recipient country has been weaned from food aid. However, the results also revealed that food aid can have a positive role in development if it can be dovetailed with local food production.