Related News

Home » World

Warning over African food shortages

Africa's farmers need help to access loans, fertilizer and export markets to avoid future food supply crises caused by climate change and commodities speculation, a top agricultural expert said yesterday.

Wheat, rice and maize prices have fallen sharply from their 2008 highs, when protests broke out across the developing world over food prices and countries imposed export bans to ensure their people had enough to eat.

Akinwumi Adesina of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, an aid group headed by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said commodity markets dampened by recession were serving to mask "the next storm."

"The global food supply remains far from secure," Adesina told the UN Conference on Trade and Development. "We have not yet tamed the forces of speculation, climate change will yet trample our farm fields, crop diversity remains under increasing threat," he said in a speech. "Global grain reserves may be replenished for the time being, but global food security remains a goal, not a reality."

One of the biggest problems, according to the agricultural economist from Nigeria, is the persistently paltry harvests from Africa's farms, most of which are "without access to basic farm inputs, finance or markets ... While yields across the globe, especially in Asia and Latin America, have steadily increased, the yields of Africa have remained constant - sitting at about one-quarter of the global average," Adesina said.

He called for international donor agencies and the banks and insurance providers active in the agricultural arena to help farmers access small loans that meet their productive needs.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend