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FOOD SECURITY IN AFRICA: CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS
Food insecurity and hunger are widespread in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Food security implies the provision of safe, nutritious, and quantitatively and qualitatively adequate food, as well as access to it by all people. The chronic food insecurity in SSA is largely due to the fact that 85-90 per cent of agriculture is rain-fed and accounts for 35 percent of the region’s gross national product (GNP), 40 percent of exports and 70 percent of employment (World bank 2000). Domestic food production accounts for about 80 percent of the region’s consumption (UNEP 2002:289). The yield of roots and tubers in Africa is the lowest in comparison to the other regions of the world (McGranahm et al 1999:104). However, an estimated 40 percent of people in SSA live below the poverty line, and both income and human poverty are increasing (UNEP 2002: 16). This paper examines these complex sustainable development problems and suggests appropriate measures for reducing poverty, ensuring food security, fighting hunger and promoting a sustainable management of natural resources. The paper argues that the principles of sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD) enunciated in the den Bosch Declaration (FAO 1996:39) constitute the foundation for achieving food security in Africa.
Keywords : Biotechnology, Coping strategies, Food security, Genetic diversity, Genetically Modified Organisms, Globalisation, Good governance, Livelihoods, Malnutrition, Poverty, Sustainable agriculture