Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Boosting food production in Africa

A meeting focused on food production in Africa just finished up Namibia. African ministers hoped to use the meetings to chart a way to improve future food security.

The conference attendees recommend that governments use 10 percent of their budgets for food production. Growing food is essential to poverty fighting efforts, as most of the population on Africa depends on the food they themselves grow, since most can't afford to buy it from elsewhere.

A statement was released at the end of the conference on what the leaders had agreed upon. This article from Pana Press tells us the details.

The ministers agreed at the end the two-day conference Tuesday to raise agricultural production levels and provide enough food for the bulk of the continent's population, which is wallowing in grinding poverty.

"We support the call for a uniquely African Green Revolution to help boost agricultural productivity, food production and national food security. We support the work of the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (Agra) in spearheading efforts to achieve a sustainable green revolution, working with African governments, farmers, donors, private sector and civil society," the ministers said in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting.

The communique said that African green revolution should be complemented by investment in rural areas, a preserve of the public sector.

The ministers also said that financial institutions in Africa and other funding agencies should be ready to fund food and agricultural input purchases.

"We are convinced that the challenges facing African agriculture need to be addressed with a sense of urgency...what is needed now is strong political will of governments to take the necessary actions and of the international community to support those actions," they said.

A target set under the Millennium Development Goals stipulates that African countries should attain food security and reduce by half the population of undernourished people by 2015.

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