Food Security in Africa
Food security is the condition in which all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life (United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security).
Is Africa food secure? Some facts:
Africa’s 2017 population is approximately 1.26 billion people with an annual growth rate of 2.53%. Projections are that African population will double by 2050 to an estimate of 2.53 billion people, if current growth trends stay the same.
Among continents, Africa’s crop yields are lowest, and food needs are highest. Approximately 80% of the food produced in African nations is by rural small holder farmers who often are resource-poor, rarely invest in advanced technology (fertilizer and pesticide), and are lacking in knowledge to properly use advanced agricultural techniques.
Presently, nearly 240 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, or one person in every four, lack adequate food for a healthy and active life, and record food prices and drought are pushing more people into poverty and hunger.
To feed her rapidly growing population, Africa must increase crop yields. This requires investment in, and use of, improved seed, fertilizer, and pesticide to protect crops from disease, insects, and weeds. Concomitantly, training of smallholder farmers will be necessary to ensure inputs are used in a manner that leads to high yields and is safe to humans and the environment.