Addressing agricultural and a security issue in Africa is critically not only to economic development across the continent but to the future of food production worldwide over the next generation
Much progress has been made globally in terms of extreme poverty, According to the world bank the population leaving on less than US&1,90 (R280) a day decline 40% in 1980 under 10% by 2015. but we must not celebrate too soon. we are not winning the war on global hunger.
In 2017 report, the state of food security and nutrition in the world’, the unfood and agriculture organization (FGO) point out the point that the number of hungry people wide world increase by 777million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.
Climate change is worsening the situation, especially in sub-Sahara Africa the international food policy research institution estimate that by 2015 Africa will be home to an additional 38 million hungry people due to climate change.
the challenges facing the world requires focus and compensation leadership. we owe it to ourselves and to the generation to come, use every opportunity we have to make the world a better place.
Scaling up processing
The future of food in the world will depend on what Africa achieved in agriculture. Africa holds 65% of an uncultivated arable land lefty to feed nine million hungry people in 20150.
Its verse savanna is the world largest agricultural frontier estimate for 40 million hectares but only 10% of this is cultivated.
Africa accounts for 75% of global cocoa production with65%of coming from cote d ivory and Ghana. however, the continent is a price taker and receives only 2% of the US$100million (R147trillion) annual revenues from chocolate globally.
This is because Africa export only raw cocoa beans
This pattern is the same with other commodities of which Africa is the major producer. it is time to move to the top of global food value chains through agro-industrialization and adding value to all it produces.
The secrets of all wealth nation are clear: Rich nations process what the produce whether in agriculture mineral oil and gas or resources.
Poor nations export their products as raws while demand s for raw commodities is elastic demand for processed and valued added commodities is relatively inelastic.
Africa reliance on exporting raw materials exposes it to high variability and instability of global commodity price.
Such external commodity price shock Jha s continued to negatively affect Africa economies, creating domestic fiscal and balance of payment deficit that has led to inflation, currency devaluation and the decline in currency expenditure.
Africa countries need policies to unlock the huge potential of these commodities by developing agriculture value chains and agro-allied industries that process and add value.
This will allow them to become more competitive in global value chains and raise income for their farmers instead of being stuck at the bottom of the chain value.
There is absolutely no reason for Africa to be food insecure: it should be the breakfast of the world. unlocking the numerous potential of it agriculture should be at the top of the global food security agenda.
Some will ask will that not mean large commercial farmers? images of ugly incidence of land grabbing may surface in the minds of others’.
Will the smallholders lose out?
Let’s not start with negative narratives that have held Africa back.
Let’s realize is agricultural potentials, Africa must use all it has: smallholders as well as medium and large-scale commercial farmers.
Africa agrarian system should support more dynamic and market-oriented agriculture with a commercial focus
We must stop romanticizing poverty. I have never seen a self-proclaimed substance farmer, I came from a rural background with a father and grandfather who were farmers.
When I see poor hard-working farm families desperately looking for opportunities to escape the indignity and pain of grinding poverty.
In my academic work, I have research and written intensively on the efficiency of smallholder farmers and I am a pro-smallholders. but I also know that their level of efficiency depends on the constraints they operate under.
Whey is efficiently poor’.
We have to expand the production possibilities for smallholders removing the binging constraints around them including limited to technology, markets, unfactual and finance and make agriculture the source of their livelihood. it should be a wealth-creating sector, not a sector of perpetuating intergenerational poverty and misery.
Access a new technology
The technology already exists to achieve a green revolution in Africa but it is underused. resilient and water efficient maize variety allows farmers to harvest good yield in the face of moderate drought. today rice varieties can yield 8t/ha and cassava varieties can yield up to 80t/ha.
The problem is the lack of supportive policies for millions of farmers. there is no reason for Africa’s to spend up to us$35 billion (R500 billion) a year importing food, all it needs to do is harness available technologies, apply the right policies and rapidly raise agricultural productivity and farm incomes. this will ensure lower food for consumers.
Rural development is crucial
The extent of rural poverty in Africa is unacceptable. rural-to-urban migration is taking its toll, as most of the rural areas are becoming deserted in the desperate reach millions of youths to find jobs in cities or worse to migrate on a perilous journey to Europe.
Rural communities have become zones for economic misery. I cannot think of any of agr=enda most important in Africa today than to seriously tackle underdevelopment in the rural areas.
We must transform them into zones of economic prosperity and that must start with agriculture and food industry.
It is time to change the licenses through which we view agriculture in Africa. agriculture is not a development activity or a social sector. it is a business and must be treated as one to unlock wealth.
Think about it: the size of the food and agribusiness market will be worth a whopping US$1 trillion (R14.7 trillion) by 2030.
I call for revitalization and stronger strategy alliance between the Africa development bank FAO, THE Internation fund for agricultural development and the world food programme to unleash the potential of agriculture as a business across Africa.
Africa is tired of being poor. millions of Africa farmers are tired of being destitute and short-change. we have the normal obligation, duty and responsibilities to rise together and end hunger in Africa.
And we must go further by turning agriculture in business for creating wealth.