Browsing: Africa Food Security

UNICEF estimates over 20 million children in the Horn of Africa are will suffer severe hunger, thirst and disease in 2023. Photo/TheCitizen
  • Over 20 million children in the Horn of Africa will suffer severe hunger, thirst and disease in 2023
  • Africa food crisis blamed on climate change and the Russia-Ukraine war
  • The continent continues to invest millions for future projects as millions die by the day

A prolonged drought linked to climate change is being linked to a severe food crisis in the Horn of Africa with millions in parts of Ethiopia, Somali and Kenya facing staring death as a result of extreme hunger.

According to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the number of children suffering from dire drought conditions has more than doubled in the last five months of 2022, spelling a hunger doom in 2023.

It is estimated that over 20 million children in the Horn of Africa will suffer severe hunger, thirst and disease in the coming year; a figure that is twice the 2022 figure that was pegged …

  • Africa produces more fertilizer than it consumes yet it imports to meet demand gaps
  • Poor inter-country trade facilities affect fertilizer supply chain within the continent
  • Developed countries use up to seven times more fertilizer per hectare than Africa

Recent reports show that fertiliser prices have tripled since early 2020 and remain volatile, putting a previous stable supply of fertiliser out of reach of many small farmers impacting food security across the continent.

The reason for this decline in access to fertilizers and hence the increase in global prices has been two fold; first the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains then the Russia-Ukraine war exacerbated the shortage.

There are other reasons like restricted supply caused by increased export taxes and even complete export bans by various countries. However, these policy restrictions, which in most cases are meant to protect the farmers of the exporting countries, all came into play owing to …

Worse still, the institute points to a much deeper conspiracy to force African farmers to buy agro-inputs from large corporations. In its report, the Oakland Institute says AGRA ‘imposes a regime in which farmers lose power over their own seeds and are forced to buy them back from large corporations year after year.’

“This system may also contribute to the marginalization of women.9 million smallholder farmer households, who are witnessing increased food security through AGRA’s direct interventions,” reads the report in part.

Then there is the matter overarching matter of climate change. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns that the use of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser will increase nitrous oxide emissions, which increase the atmospheric temperature significantly.…

Changes in the global food chain provide essential opportunities to enhance the profile of integrated thinking in Africa. Because these measures will benefit the whole planet, a collective responsibility remains necessary. Landscape-based initiatives and the scaling out of agro-ecological systems and restorative agriculture must be prioritized by African member states.

There should be cross-border collaborations in critical landscapes. Non-African partners and enterprises must also invest in regional systems strategies, focusing on yield and advancing all ecological systems. As investment in Africa’s agricultural industry grows, steps must be taken to avoid negative environmental consequences.

Everyone wants to live in a world with a healthy planet and people and planet. In Africa, this means people with access to healthy diets, economic growth, and development possibilities while interacting with the continent’s unique natural environments.…

Despite poor irrigation systems, extreme weather conditions and soil quality becoming the case for wheat importation instead of farming it, countries such as Tanzania and Kenya are amping up their farming systems.

Tanzania’s irrigation area has risen to more than 727,000 hectares from around 625,000 in 2021. The nation has built silos in Burundi, Kenya and Congo, easing up supply and trade of crops across the regions.  Kenya, East Africa's leading economy and among Africa's top four in fintech is leveraging modern financial technology to enhance commercial agriculture practices.

Utiliser application is a challenge, and the nation is striving to assist farmers in adapting to new tech by offering subsidies to ensure productivity is restored, while Uganda is striving to level up the playing field for farmers to access and adopt low-cost irrigation and climate-smart agriculture systems. On the same note, it also intensifies the functions of the entire agriculture…