African Food Security Prospects Brighter Than Ever

Image Credit: Kate Holt/AusAID

The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) recently launched an inaugural report providing an overview of the state of food security in Africa, as part of their State of Food Security in the World Series. The report provides some good indicators of food security and how Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is tracking, whilst the statistics show some great positive trends there are still a large number of people that are undernourished. The FAO is an inter-governmental member organization with the main goal of achieving food security for all. 

Part 1 of the report provides an update of how SSA is tracking against key indicators such as the Millennium Development Goals and World Food Summit Goal. The indicators importantly look at not just the availability of food but also the nutritional benefits, along with the access to food and impact on poverty levels. Part 2 of the report provides an overview of the main factors causing positive change, with key regional policy initiatives listed. An exciting component of the report from Cleanleap's perspective are the actions needed to create food and nutrition security into the future. 

Some of the highlights for SSA from the report are:

  • 1 person out of 4 is estimated to be undernourished today, compared to 1 out of 3 in 1990-92.
  • 44 million additional people are undernourished, estimated 220 million in 2014-16 compared to 176 million in 1990-92.
  • Food availability has increased by 12 percent, from 1990-92 and 2012-14
  • The number of people living with less than $ 1.25 a day, has declined by 23 percent between 1993 and 2011.

So how can a Cleanleap contribute to food security?

  • Cleantech in the agriculture sector, such as Observant, can help farmers use less and produce more 
  • Modernization of smallholder agriculture, through initiatives such as M-shamba
  • Reduce threats to livelihood from AIDs/HIV, through quick detection devices
  • Enhance trade and regional integration, provide improved communication and access to markets