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Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Africa must learn to raise its own food

From South Africa Sucks

Stop feeding Africa, UN food expert warns

June 16 2008 -- Nairobi, Kenya. Africa must learn to feed itself - and fast because 46% of all Africans are starving. Yet twenty years ago, it was still a major food-exporter. Now, even though a full two-third of the entire continent's workforce is engaged in food-production, the continent needs to import about $25bn worth of food and also gets one-third of all the world's food-aid...

A UN food expert warned in an interview with Reuters at the Nairobi food-conference on Monday that this situation must change drastitically; that the African continent could triple or quadruple domestic production over two seasons through some very simple changes to its agricultural practices.


Mafa Chipeta, sub-regional coordinator of the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in east Africa, said first of all, Africa's food crisis 'cannot be solved by the continuation of this charity."
In fact the African continent 'must drop its reliance on food imports and food-aid and learn to feed itself " -- and quickly, said Chipeta. "Within two seasons we can change (our dependence on imports)," he told Reuters on the sidelines of the launch of the regional FAO conference in Nairobi, Kenya. "We can boost production by three or four times by making simple changes."

Some of these changes were more irrigation projects; reduced fertiliser prices; and to introduce high-yield, high-quality seed varieties (but NOT genetically-modified crops). He hoped the week-long conference would produce "actionable decisions" for Africa's agricultural sector -- which employs about two-thirds of the continent's workforce.

'46% of all Africans going hungry'
Kenya's Agriculture Minister William Ruto opened the conference on a very somber note, saying that 46% of Africans were now actually going hungry. Yet only twenty years ago, added Mobido Traore, FAO assistant director general for Africa, 'Africa was a net exporter of food'.

He blamed this dramatic collapse in the continent's agricultural production on the mass-migration from rural areas in search of employment in the cities. He also blamed African governments for 'not investing sufficiently in agricultural production". That's how the African continent became the net importers of food within just twenty years, he claimed.
He failed to mention that some 85% of all this 'exported food from the African continent' was actually being produced by the commercial farmers of Zimbabwe and South Africa.
But now, these most productive food-producers of Africa are nearly all gone:
Less than one percent of the entire South African land surface is now actually being utilised for large, permanent food-crop production by SA's few remaining commercial farmers, according to the latest CIA satellite observations;

and Zimbabwe's shrinking band of valiant commercial farmers now have to produce crops under constant siege from their own 'government' forces and face the threat of land-confiscation for purely racist reasons.


The approaching famine in South Africa -



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