Food Security in Africa

In Africa there are a number of weaknesses and constraints as well as strengths and opportunities for the development of the agricultural sector and the attainment of national and household food security. The use of low yielding crop varieties and breeds of livestock, as well as high post harvest losses, significantly contribute to low production and productivity. The challenge is to make improved technologies available and accessible to small scale farmers in a sustainable manner, and ensure the youth who are the majority in the continent population participates in the agricultural sector.

The youth in the continent has neglected farming an industry considered to be the backbone of the economy and run to the cities searching for white collar jobs, leading to mushrooming slums in the cities, this as lead to increase in national poverty and makes the first millennium goal out of reach. These facts emphasize the vital need to hurriedly start a campaign and training for the youth to go back to the farms if there is to be significant progress towards addressing the problem of hunger and poverty in Africa.

The other major issue is the seasonal pattern in the production and marketing of farm products, this is dominated by rain-fed agricultural production with food supplies running low between successive harvests, resulting in a severe and widespread seasonal hunger problem. This is the most serious dimension of hunger in rural areas of Africa. The interactions between food shortages, labour demand, pest and disease incidence and human energy supplies limit cultivated areas and labour inputs into crop care, thereby adversely affecting yields.

For the continent to be able to achieve the first millennium goal ‘eradicating poverty and hunger’ much need to be done. With the number of unemployed young people skyrocketing day by day in the continent, more emphasis need to be put on encouraging and enticing the youth to go back to the farms, this, not only will it provide a source of employment but also enable Africa to be food secure. With proper education on pest and disease controls, use of irrigation rather than merely relying on seasonal rain, expanding market and transportation infrastructure and use of advancing technology will take the African economy to another page through agriculture

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