KIGALI - A new research by food experts has revealed that Africa can feed itself with indications that the world’s poorest continent can make the transition from hungry importer to self-sufficiency, in a single generation.
Speaking to The New Times, Harvard University Prof. Juma Calestous and director of the Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said, “African agriculture is at the crossroads, with its vast untapped resources, Africa enjoys tremendous potential and opportunities but remains characterized by persistent food shortages.”
He added that the African continent no longer needs to import food but focus on agricultural innovation.
“We have come to the end of century of policies that favoured African’s export of raw materials and importation of food; Africa is starting to focus on agricultural innovations as its new engine of regional trade and prosperity,” Calestous said
“Africa has abundant arable land and labour which, with an agreed common approach and sound policies, could translate into greater production, incomes and food security.”
The strategy calls on governments to make African agricultural expansion central to decision making.
He further stressed that African agricultural revolution is within reach, provided the continent can focus on supporting small-scale farmers to help meet national and regional demand for food.
Meanwhile according to The New Harvest, global agriculture over the past 40 years, production of coffee, cocoa and other export commodities has grown, but food production has dropped 10 per cent since 1960 because of low investment in the sector.
Preliminary results of the study, financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, were adopted earlier this year by the 19-member Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the continent’s largest trading