Writing in Addis Ababa at the Africa Green Revolution Forum, former UN Secretary General and the former chair of the Alliance for a Green Revolution Kofi Annan stated that the malnutrition issues in Africa are a political issue – a blunt assessment of African leadership.
“Malnutrition is a political failure,” he said. “People who live under democracy and democratic rule don’t starve.”
Annan pointed to the $35 billion Africa spends on food imports, along with the failure of Africa to match the agriculture productivity increases experienced by the rest of the world as evidence of their failure.
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A new campaign by the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) and six other agricultural development partner organizations aims to promote the importance of fertilizer access for African farmers as a means of bridging the current agricultural productivity gap on the continent.
The campaign is being launched at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), a three-day event bringing together the global agricultural community to discuss and coordinate strategies for achieving the green revolution in Africa. View the campaign website at:
Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union, summarized the key science agenda during the Research to Feed Africa conference September 1, 2014.
“The agricultural transformation agenda, that we (the African Union members) have thus all committed to, calls for harnessing the best technologies, building the required infrastructure, developing effective institutions and crafting appropriate policies with a view to realizing the full potential for the continent’s agrifood systems to contribute to broad-based economic growth and job creation and, in so doing, to shared prosperity and improved livelihoods for a growing and thriving African population, especially, its majority who are youth and women.
To deliver on this vision, our leaders also adopted the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A) that should cut across the entire value chains of the agrifood systems and help, over the next 10 years:
- Double agricultural productivity,
- Halve post-harvest losses,
- Develop strategic agrifood commodities value chains, including the agro-processing and agribusiness stages of these value chains,
- Triple intra-African trade in agricultural products and services,
- Make at least 30% of farm, pastoral and fisher households resilient to climate change and weather-related risks, and
- Eliminate child under-nutrition by curbing stunting to 10% and underweight to 5%.
On Thursday, Statistics Canada released its latest Production of Principal Field Crops report. In it, it predicts that almost ever crop is set to decrease in production from last year. Given that last year’s record setting crop, a decrease will return production to normal levels. Wheat production is projected to drop 26.2% to 27.7 million tonnes, and oat production is set to drop 32.1%.