Without changing the approach towards the efforts to end hunger, Africa risks remaining as the only continent struggling with hunger by 2030.
This is the view that was expressed by experts from the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF 2020).
The experts worry that Africa could still be importing a significant amount of food by 2030 yet most of its countries have comparative advantages when it comes to Agricultural productivity.
Considered as the world’s leading Forum for advancing Africa’s agricultural agenda, AGRF is expected to attract a record 4,000 participants, according to its organizers.
According to a statement that was issued from the office of the AGRF Partners Group Chair and former Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn, eliminating hunger on the continent is being undermined by high population growth and climate change which need to be addressed gently by all African states.
“Business and progress, as usual, is not enough for Africa’s aspirations. Without a change of approach and change of pace, Africa stands to be the only continent struggling with hunger in 2030.
“In order to achieve our aspirations laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa’s Agenda 2063, we must ensure that we drive agriculture transformation at the heart of our economic transformation,” Desalegn said.
Africa has the highest prevalence of undernourishment, at 20 per cent of its population, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Dr Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and host of the independent AGRF Secretariat, said; “Working together, we can ensure the policies, programmes, and investments that will transform the lives of millions of smallholder farmers, grow African businesses, and put a good number of countries on the path to a sustainable agricultural transformation.”
Kalibata said facts show that all countries that managed to develop started with significantly investing in and boosting their agriculture sector.
According to information from the African Development Bank, Africa’s annual food import bill is estimated at $35 billion and is projected to rise to $110 billion by 2025 if the status quo remains.
The Bank argues that this situation weakens African economies, decimates its agriculture and exports jobs from the continent.
The Experts’ observation comes a time when The Forum is in the process of organizing the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF2020), due to take place in September next year in Kigali.
The AGRF is considered the world’s most important and impactful forum for African agriculture, pulling together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward.
First established in 2010, following a three-year series of African Green Revolution Conferences (AGRC) held in Oslo, Norway from 2006-2008, the AGRF has emerged as Africa’s leading “platform of agriculture platforms” that brings together a range of critical stakeholders in the African agriculture landscape to discuss and commit to programs, investments, and policies that can counter the major challenges affecting the agriculture sector on the continent.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO