Food security has remained a major challenge for the continent since most African countries have obtained independence. It is one of the major challenges that has prevented the African continent from becoming self-sufficient. However, it seems that food security may no longer be a conundrum, moving forward for the continent.
Indeed, the African Development Bank's (AfDB) prediction that Africa's food insecurity will be non-existent in the next five years is an ambitious but achievable goal. The continent has a number of factors in its favor, including a young and growing population, a wealth of agricultural resources, and a growing commitment to investing in agriculture.
However, there are also a number of challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve this goal. One of the biggest challenges is climate change, which is already having a significant impact on agricultural production in many parts of Africa. Another challenge is the lack of access to finance for small-scale farmers. Indeed, small-scale farmers in Africa often lack access to the inputs they need to produce food, such as fertilizer and improved seeds. They also often have difficulty accessing markets to sell their products. And lastly, Africa's poor infrastructure, such as roads and irrigation systems, can make it difficult for farmers to get their products to market and for people to access food.
Despite these challenges, there are a number of reasons to be optimistic about the future of food security in Africa. The AfDB is investing heavily in agriculture, and a number of other organizations are also working to support the sector. Additionally, African governments are increasingly recognizing the importance of agriculture and are investing in infrastructure and research.
The AfDB’s $25 billion food security goal progressing well, with $12 billion worth of food already produced. Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the AfDB, aims to eliminate food insecurity in Africa within five years, citing technology and financing capabilities. In an interview given to Reuters, the AfDB’s president said:
“As far as I’m concerned, we shouldn’t be talking about food security in Africa more than five years from now. There’s no reason for it.”
If these investments continue and if the challenges of climate change and lack of finance can be addressed, then it is possible that Africa could achieve food security within the next five years. And there are a few ways that it could be done to help achieve this goal.
Invest in climate-smart agriculture practices that can help farmers adapt to the effects of climate change; provide small-scale farmers with access to finance and credit; improve infrastructure, such as roads and irrigation systems, to help farmers get their products to market; invest in research and development to improve crop yields and develop new varieties that are more resistant to pests and diseases; and promote sustainable land management practices to protect soil health and fertility. Thus, by taking these steps, the African continent can make significant progress towards achieving food security in the next five years.