Better policies can solve food crisis

The food crisis in Africa is a golden opportunity for its leaders to review policies and put long-term strategies in place that will make the region the world’s food basket.

africa food crisis

This was the message from Sindiso Ngwenya, chairperson of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN).  “African farmers and the private sector need a conducive policy environment as only policy makers can unleash the potential of smallholder farmers,” he said, speaking at the recent FANRPAN partners meeting.  “Permanent agricultural recovery for Africa is about good policies, strong institutions, and partnerships.”

Ngwenya stressed that food security is currently at its lowest since 1960.  “As Africans we have been very good at producing what we don’t eat and eating what we don’t produce.  “Africa needs it own green revolution and the time for that is now,” he said.

“Solutions lie in policies and institutions.  The good news is that Africa has now seriously embarked on its green revolution,” continued Ngwenya.  “The political leadership has given it full support under the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme, which seeks to ensure at least 6% annual growth in the agricultural sector,” he concluded.

Source: Farmer’s Weekly 1 July 2011 (Lindi van Rooyen)

Not only are better policies required but the willpower and resources to implement these policies (agricultural extension officers, people willing to do the groundwork) is even more important.  Policies on their own without proper implementation are useless!

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