Why Africans Must Feed the African Continent.
WHY AFRICANS MUST FEED THE AFRICAN CONTINENT
According to the foreword of Africa Agriculture Status Report 2018, “Agriculture is key to Africa’s future. The continent has most of the world’s arable land, over half of the African population is employed in the sector, and it is the largest contributor to total gross domestic product (GDP). Yet Africa is still producing too little food and value-added products. Productivity has been broadly stagnant since the 1980s.......”
The above statement was recorded in 2018, when the population was approximately 1.3 billion people. However, according to the UN, by 2030, Africa would have to be feeding an estimated population of 1.68 billion people. Africa has fallen behind in meeting the demands of food and food security especially in Sub-saharan Africa. In Sub-saharan Africa, food produced today is said to be lesser than it was three decades ago per person.
Unfortunately, the population isn’t growing in a steady arithmetic progression but in a galloping, geometric fashion reminding us that the time we have on our hands is little compared to the efforts being put in agriculture as at now. Complacency that is characterising the agricultural sector should be addressed with conscious actions carried out to improve and stabilise mechanisation in Africa especially in the sub-Saharan Africa. Else, the dependence on imports would be immerse that many economies would crumble leading to abject poverty of many African citizens and residents. This invariably would result in increased cases of malnourishment, ailments, disease outbreaks and deaths. These resultant effects only add burdens to our already bent and weak shoulders. Hence, feeding Africa is paramount.
More so, if other sectors would be efficient in operations, human capital and manpower would have to be in adequate supply. All the same, if the food security curve is shifting to the left, other sectors would suffer greatly. A sickened root growing to a network of branches of problems. Take for instance, if food production and supply is insufficient, there would definitely be no raw materials for agro-based industries and companies to function leading to economic melt-down. All in all, there will be gross reduction in exports and then, the standard of living of the ever-increasing population is doomed.
While feeding is crucial and attempts would have to be made to make up for the gaps in the food production scheme, one has to put in mind that this means lands for farming would have to be expanded. Therefore, trees will be cut down, natural vegetation eliminated and thus, high risks of desertification with the change in climate. Greenhouse gases would be produced which are not eco-friendly and that would disrupt weather conditions needed to better and increased yields. In the long run, we will end up where we started. This time, not for complacency in the agriculture sector but loss of resources and unfavourable weather conditions, militating against steady and sustainable food production.
In conclusion, Africans must not leave this issue to the government only. It begins with each and every individual.