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Curbing hunger in Africa

11-26-2012 01:45 BJT

By CCTV correspondent Girum Chala

Over the years, famine has been a major problem in Africa. But what most people do not know is that Africa can feed itself if coordinated efforts are made. The continent holds 60% of the world’s arable land.

Africa is a continent of untapped wealth in almost every sector. When it comes to agriculture and food production, many estimate the continent can not only feed its people but also most of the rest of the world. Sadly, for generations the continent suffered from hunger and poverty. Worse, According to the 2012 edition of the state of food insecurity in the world, the total number of under nourished people in Africa rose from 175 million in 1990’s to 239 million in 2012. But still there is still hope.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson, AUC, said, "For the continent is very important that we have food security. We have the potential to increase our production because we still have a lot of reserve of arable land. In fact, in the world, we have 60% of the reserve of arable land."

To make sure food shortage and undernourishment are truly eradicated from the continent, the African Union is currently joining efforts with the United Nations Food and agriculture Organization (FAO), as well as taking example from the Brazilian success story in combating hunger.

Jose Graziano Da Silva, Director-General, FAO,said, "Africa has the potential to provide food for the world, for the future and FAO is prepared to assist the countries to improve their agriculture performance."

Girum Chala, Addis Ababa, said, "The eastern Africa region has been stricken by hunger and food shortages for a long time. But, countries like Ethiopia are now changing by enabling food security through modern agriculture. On the other hand, the continent should start thinking beyond feeding itself as there is a huge chance for Africa to commercialize its agriculture."

And that is why Africa is partnering with the rest of the world and international organizations to make sure the plan of making Africa free of subsistence agriculture comes true.

"We need to look beyond the subsistence. We will try to bring each subsistence farmer in Africa to become a provider for local markets. And local markets can provide food for feeding school lunch programs, hospitals, local markets etcetera. " Jose Graziano Da Silva said.

If the food that is produced in Africa can be distributed in a more coordinated way, as in Ethiopia, then the continent can start focusing on exploiting its arable land for more sustainable growth and development, and above all it can create hunger free continent.


Editor:James |Source:

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