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Policies, investments in agricultural infrastructure drive
Africa's food security
Favourable policies and investments in agricultural infrastructure have emerged as the major drivers of foodsecurity improvements in Sub-Saharan Africa, indicates the Economist Intelligence Unit's (The EIU's) 2015
Global Food Security Index (GFSI) annual update.
“Food security challenges for developed and developing countries differ considerably,” said Dr Richard Okine,
Regional Director for DuPont Sub-Saharan Africa. “Developing countries often lack basic infrastructure,
including storage, road and port facilities, while smaller incomes inhibit access to and affordability of
nutritious food. Political risk and corruption frequently compound structural difficulties in these countries.
Investment in infrastructure and food systems in low-income and lower-middle income countries is the key to
narrowing the gap.”
The GFSI is an annual measure of food security across 109 countries, produced by The EIU and sponsored by
DuPont. The index looks at 19 specific measures of food security across three broad categories: affordability,
availability and quality & safety. The 2015 Global Food Security Index results, unveiled at the DuPont Forum
on Food and Agriculture: Rural and Urban Innovations at Expo Milan 2015 revealed that food security
improved in two-thirds of the 109 countries covered.
Global results
Overall GFSI results show that food security has improved in almost every region of the world over the past
year. Sustained economic expansion in most regions and rapid growth in developing countries, especially in
Sub-Saharan Africa, combined with lower global food prices provided the necessary operating context, while
government investments in agriculture and infrastructure - begun in the wake of the food price shocks of 200708 - have also been crucial to improving food security.
Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)
Food security in SSA is continuing to improve. Of the 28 countries in the region, 82% recorded score increases
between 2014 and 2015, and the region as a whole saw a score improvement of 1.5 points.
For the first time, improvements in the structures that impact food security, rather than income improvements,
are driving positive score changes. The high economic growth rates that SSA has experienced in recent years
have resulted in increased investment in the structures that are necessary to ensure food security. The report
shows that both public and private investment in SSA's agricultural and food systems have begun to pay off
and major improvements occurred in the following areas; food safety-net programmes, crop storage facilities
and the subsequent reduction in the percentage in food loss.
“An overwhelmingly positive factor has been the fact that over the past few years, the overall economic
growth in the developing world has led to improvements in the structural areas that are essential to improving
people's access to a wider range of affordable, nutritious foods,” said Dr Okine. “This includes more extensive
food safety-net programmes, expanded crop storage capacity and dietary diversity.”
Sub-Saharan Africa also saw impressive gains in food Quality & Safety. Burkina Faso and Mali led the way,
driven by improved access to quality protein, a measure of the average consumption of essential amino acids in
a country's diet. Burkina Faso also made significant strides in the diet diversification indicator, with a 25%
increase (87% score increase) in the amount of non-starchy foods consumed in the average diet.
Looking ahead
Such progress notwithstanding, global food insecurity remains a challenge. According to UN estimates, the
world population is projected to increase by 1 billion over the next 12 years and reach 9.6 billion by 2050, with
growth coming mainly from developing countries, with more than half in Africa. As populations boom and
incomes rise in developing countries, the FAO estimates food production will have to grow by 50% to meet
“Solutions must be collaborative - reached in concert with communities, governments, NGOs and farmers who
know the ‘facts on the ground' and with global businesses who have the specialized expertise or resources to
help solve particular problems,” said Dr Okine. “Food system infrastructure, including transport and storage
facilities, takes longer to improve than other elements necessary for food security, but government
prioritisation and public private-sector partnerships have driven, and will likely continue to drive, progress.”
Post date: 2015-05-21 11:26:47
Post date GMT: 2015-05-21 11:26:47
Post modified date: 2015-05-21 11:26:47
Post modified date GMT: 2015-05-21 11:26:47
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