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Africa must become a farming state to feed a growing population

The theme of World Food day 2015 brings attention to social “social protection and agriculture – breaking the cycle of rural poverty”. Africa’s population continues to grow and is increasingly facing issues of food insecurity and malnutrition. This should be a top priority on the international development agenda for the continent or risk a looming food insecurity crisis.

According to Klaus Eckstein, CEO for Bayer Southern Africa: “To put this into perspective, there are 239 million undernourished people, which is just shy of being a quarter of Africa’s current 1.2 billion* population. Considering that this population has been projected to double to 2.4 billion by 2050, if we are unable to address the issues that are suppressing Africa’s food security now, we will run into an emergency situation in the next two decades – and one that we possibly can’t even begin to fully comprehend in real terms just yet.”

This warning comes despite significant strides and ongoing measures by government, private sector and local and international non-government organisations (NGOs), alike, to reduce the number of undernourished people in Africa. In fact, it is estimated that about 239 million people are still suffering from undernourishment and chronic hunger – and currently there are few signs of this number decreasing dramatically in time to come.

 

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