Imagining An Africa That Can Feed The World (psfk / The Guardian)

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Imagining An Africa That Can Feed The World

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This article titled “‘Africa can feed the world’” was written by Mark Tran, for on Wednesday 27th July 2011 10.24 UTC

Africa can feed not just itself but the world is a bold assertion to make at a time when famine stalks part of the continent.

But this is precisely the claim made by Kanayo Nwanze, the president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad), a specialised agency of the UN. Nwanze gave a forceful intervention at Monday’s emergency meeting in Rome to discuss the crisis in east Africa, where, according to the UN, an estimated 11.6 million people need humanitarian assistance in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti.

Nwanze drew a sharp contrast between Gansu province, in northwest China, and parts of Africa that cannot feed itself. He said like many parts of the world, Gansu suffers from frequent drought, limited water for irrigation and severe soil erosion. Yet despite the weather and the harsh environment, the farmers in the Gansu programme area are feeding themselves and increasing their incomes.

“I met one farmer whose income had risen from only $2 (£1.20) a day in 2006 to $35 a day last year,” he exclaimed.

So when asked why this could be done in China but not Africa, Nwanze said the vital difference was government policy.


MY COMMENT (Willem Van Cotthem)

Very nice and interesting article. It took me by surprise as I first noticed that one of my own photos, taken at our development project in Toubacouta (Senegal), is used as a header. It would not be too difficult to mention its origin.

Senegal/Toubacouta - TC-DIALOGUE Foundation (Belgium) : successful community garden project (Photo WVC)

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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