Saturday, March 16, 2013

We can feed ourselves

Ton Dietz, the director of the Afrika Studie Centrum, based in Leiden, Netherlands, one of Europe's leading think tanks on Africa, questions the image of Africa so commonly seen as a hungry continent. His research showed that total basic food production in Africa has actually not only kept pace with population growth, but has increased proportionally faster than has the population. Overall Africa produces more than enough food to feed itself.

Research has shown that the amount of calories consumed per person had actually increased in all of west Africa, but had decreased in all east African countries between 1961 to 2009 despite the region having some of the most fertile agricultural land available on the continent.
In 1961 every nation in Africa produced domestically more than 100 percent of its domestic food supply. Now most African countries produce less than its domestic supply and therefore are becoming more dependent on food imports, even though they grow enough food to feed themselves.
In Benin, Mozambique and the two Sudans all show large drops in the portion domestically produced, and large increases in imported food and stock variations. Sudan and Mozambique can be partly explained by the wars that plagued both, but during the first part of this century Mozambique has had a domestic peace in a nation with extraordinary agriculture potential. The research showed that post-harvest loss is the major problem in the Sudans and not weather conditions. The same is true for Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Mozambique. Africa lacks infrastructures for adequate storage and refrigeration.

No comments: