Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Africa’s farming potential hinges on infrastructure boost

Africa’s huge agricultural potential holds the promise of covering much of the planet’s nutrition needs, but the continent is hampered by lack of infrastructure and intricate local politics. In an effort to respond to the global food security issue, agribusinesses have expanded their activities in the developing world, with a special focus on Africa’s rich soils. The move is seen with suspicion by environmental campaigners, which warn that turning to a Western type agri-food production model will only increase farmers’ dependence, leading them to long-term deadlock. The economy of the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region has seen remarkable improvements over the past decades. World Bank figures show that the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day, has declined by 23% between 1993 and 2015. According to the latest estimates in the 2015 State of Food Insecurity in the World, hunger in the region declined by 31% in the period 1990-2015, by no means a small achievement. Today, approximately one out of four persons in SSA is estimated to be undernourished, considerably less than in the 1980s.