Improved drought tolerant maize


Photo credit: CIMMYT

Rodney Lunduka, CIMMYT socioeconomist, speaking at the AFSC. Photo: K. Kaimenyi/CIMMYT

Improved drought tolerant maize varieties: a sustainable solution to climate change

Is there too much talk and not enough action regarding food security in Africa? For two days, stakeholders in the agricultural sector met in Nairobi, Kenya, for the 4th Africa Food Security Conference (AFSC), held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on 12 and 13 October 2016. Experts in crop production, nutrition, agricultural inputs, global development and even microfinance, chimed in on the seemingly endless task of making Africa food secure. Speakers at the event called for a lasting solution to this challenge, citing low crop productivity, food loss, and wastage from under-developed food value chains as some of the biggest impediments to food security. However, climate change and variability remain the most devastating occurrences to farmers across the globe, and sub-Sahara Africa in particular.

According to a FAO report on global food losses and food waste, the food currently lost in Africa could feed 300 million people. The report also mentions that food waste and losses in developing countries occur at early stages of the food value chain, where constraints in harvesting techniques, finances and technical know-how exist. Further, 40 percent of losses in developing countries occur at post-harvest and processing levels, translating into lost income for small farmers and higher prices for poor consumers.

Read the full article: CIMMYT

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

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

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