Monday, May 28, 2018

Food to grow

Two-thirds of the uncultivated arable land in the world is to be found in Africa. Yet the continent is a net food-importer to the tune of €35 billion a year, with a third of all calories consumed in Africa imported.

Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050, from 1.2 billion people to 2.4 billion, predominantly young. The International Monetary Fund estimates that it needs to increase sixfold to 18 million the new jobs yearly up to 2035, to absorb new labour market entrants. Deteriorating food security will mean a projected increase in the undernourished by one-quarter to 320 million by 2025. Agriculture will be key, Hogan says, insisting the group’s work is not about importing European solutions, or, as in the past seeing Africa as an untapped market, but assisting Africa to find its own solutions. “Nowhere is this potential stronger,” he argues, “than in the agriculture and agri-food sector, which employs up to 75 per cent of the African labour force while representing less than 33 per cent of African GDP”.

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