Will famine be eradicated from Africa?
At the end of June, representatives of African Union member states met at a summit in Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) to discuss the issue of food supply safety. One of the postulates formulated at the meeting is the intention to eradicate famine in Africa by 2025.
Agriculture is the catalyst of growth
About 70% of the African population finds employment in agriculture. However, this sector requires support due to dynamic changes in African demographics (large population growth, mass migration of the youth to large cities). The focus should be the improvement of the unfavorable food trade balance, so that the continent becomes less dependent on importation, and more food is available on the local markets.
The representatives of FAO who participated in the summit proposed to concentrate on a number of issues. First of all, support for family farms, which constitute the vast majority in Africa, ought to be customized to their needs. Secondly, accessible financing mechanisms, which help the dynamic growth of such farms, need to become available. Additionally, the authorities need to give farmers incentives to invest and improve the quality of production. Another important target is balanced system of nutrition, which is primarily addressed at the young and impoverished.
An ambitious plan
Solving the problem of famine by 2025 is a serious task for all the countries in the African Union. As early as in 2003, the authorities of particular countries vowed to allocate 10% of the national budgets to the development of farming. However, few governments have fulfilled this promise and increased support for domestic agricultural production. The current situation in Africa provides a realistic chance of fighting hunger, but at the same time makes this need even more urgent.