Bila Kuwekeza Katika Kilimo, Waafrika Wataendelea Kuwa na Njaa

Bila kuwekeza katika kilimo,Waafrika wataendelea kuwa na njaa.

Upatikanaji haba wa maji, mafuriko ya mara kwa mara na ukame ikiwa ni pamoja na kukosekana kwa dhamira za kisiasa kuwekeza katika wakulima wadogo kunasababisha njaa katika Afrika nzima, wanasema wataalam wa usalama wa chakula.

JOHANNESBURG, Okt 24 (IPS) – Wanajibu hoja za Ripoti ya Njaa ya Kimataifa 2010 (GHI), iliyochapishwa katikati mwa Oktoba, jambo ambalo litaonyesha kuwa nchi 29 duniani zina kiwango cha njaa ambacho kinaonekana kutishia maisha. Ishirini na mbili kati ya nchi hizi – zaidi ya theluthi mbili – zinapatikana katika Afrika Kusini mwa Jangwa la Sahara.

GHI – ambayo inaangalia vigezo 100-ilipima njaa kwa kujikita katika idadi ya watu wanaokosa mlo, idadi ya watoto chini ya miaka mitano ambao wana uzito duni na kiwango cha vifo vya watoto wachanga nchini humo – inachapishwa kila mwaka na Taasisi ya Kimataifa ya Utafiti wa Sera za Chakula (IFPRI) na shirika la misaada la Ireland la Concern Worldwide.

Afrika imepata mafanikio kidogo katika kipindi cha miaka 20 iliyopita, kutoka nafasi ya 25.3 mwaka 1990 hadi 21.7 mwaka 2010, lakini kwa kiwango hiki hakuna uwezekano wa Afrika kufikia Lengo la Maendeleo ya Milenia la kupunguza nusu ya njaa ifikapo mwaka 2015.

“Kunakosekana mafanikio,” anaonya Marie Ruel, mkurugenzi wa umaskini wa IFPRI, afya na kitengo cha lishe, akibainisha kuwa ni jambo linaloleta wasiwasi kwamba baadhi ya mataifa ya Afrika, asilimia ya watu wenye njaa imeongezeka katika kipindi cha miaka iliyopita.

Bado njaa inaendelea

Kulingana na ripoti, Jamhuri ya Kidemorkasia ya Kongo ina kiwango cha juu zaidi cha watu wanaokabiliwa na njaa duniani, ikifuatiwa na Chad, Eritrea na Burundi. DRC pia ina kiwango cha juu zaidi cha watu wenye njaa – robo tatu ya wakazi wake – na moja ya nchi yenye kiwango cha juu zaidi cha vifo vya watoto duniani.

Burundi, Comoros na Eritrea hazina nafasi nzuri zaidi, huku nusu ya wakazi wake wakiwa na njaa.

Moja ya sababu kuu za njaa katika mataifa haya ni kuendelea kukosekana kwa usalama kutokana na vita, ripoti inabainisha, lakini pia kuna sababu nyingine nyingi ambazo zinachangia kukosekana kwa usalama wa chakula, kama vile upatikanaji wa maji, kukosekana kwa vitega uchumi katika kilimo na madhara ya mabadiliko ya tabia nchi.

Kwa upande wa Burundi, kwa mfano, sababu kuu ya kukosekana kwa usalama wa chakula ni usimamiaji duni wa maji, ambao unadhoofisha sekta ya kilimo nchini humo, Profesa Sheryl Hendriks, mtafiti katika Idara ya Uchumi wa Kilimo, Ugani na Maendeleo ya Vijijini katika Chuo Kikuu cha Pretoria nchini Afrika Kusini ana amini hivyo.

“Kukosekana kwa usimamiaji wa maji kuna maana kuwa nchi haina maji ya kutosha, kama ilivyo kwa Burundi, hakuna uzalishaji wa kutosha wa chakula,” anasema.

Kutokana na njaa, zaidi ya nusu ya watoto wa Burundi wamedumaa, kulingana na GHI. Madagascar, Malawi, Ethiopia na Rwanda ina viwango vinavyofanana vya kudumaa kwa watoto, wakati Chad, Angola na Somalia zinakabiliwa na viwango vya juu vya vifo vya watoto wachanga vya zaidi ya asilimia 20 kutokana na njaa.

Viwango vya chini vya uzalishaji

Kama ilivyo kwa Burundi, uzalishaji duni wa kilimo ni sababu ya kuenea kwa kiasi kikubwa cha njaa nchini Eritrea, ambako ukame na mabomu ya ardhini katika maeneo yanayofaa kwa kilimo baada ya miaka miwili ya vita na Ethiopia, ambayo ilimazilika mwaka 2000, kumesababisha kukosekana kwa usalama wa chakula, kulingana na Shirika la Chakula la Umoja wa Mataifa (WFP).

Katika miaka yake iliyokuwa na uzalishaji mkubwa, Eritrea ilizalisha asilimia 60 tu ya mahitaji yake ya nafaka na inategemea kuagiza chakula nje, linaripoti Shirika la Chakula na Kilimo la Umoja wa Mataifa (FAO). Katika miaka ya uzalishaji mkubwa, uzalishaji wa nafaka ulishuka kwa asilimia 25 ya mahitaji.

Vile vile, nchini Chad, kilimo, ambacho tayari ni duni kutokana na hali ya hewa kame, kimedhoofishwa na vita vya mfululizo, huku asilimia 80 ya wakazi wakitegemea msaada wa chakula, kulingana na WFP.

Vita pia vimezingira mipaka ya DRC tangu mwaka 1996, na kusababisha kupanda kwa bei kwa asilimai 52 kati ya Mei 2008 na Juni 2009, kulingana na WFP, ikiwa ni zaidi ya uwezo wa Wakongo wengi. Misaada ya kibinadamu inaendelea kubakia michache katika maeneo mengi yenye vita ya nchi hiyo, hasa katika Jimbo la Kivu Kaskazini.

Ni serikali chache tu za nchi za Kiafrika zimeweza kuboresha usalama wa chakula nchini mwao, zaidi kwa kupitia uwekezaji katika kilimo. Ghana, kwa mfano, iliweza kuboresha nafasi yake katika ripoti kutoka 23.4 mwaka 1990 hadi 10 mwaka huu, kulingana na GHI.

Hendriks ana imani kuwa Ghana ni taifa la kwanza barani Afrika kuwa njiani kufikia MDG 1.

“[Ghana] inawekeza katika kilimo, mpango wa kutoa chakula mashuleni na mifumo ya habari na kujenga uwezo,” anasema, akiongeza kuwa serikali ya Ghana pia imefanikiwa kutoa ruzuku kwa wakulima wadogo.

Ethiopia, Angola na Msumbiji pia zimepata mafanikio katika kupunguza njaa, pamoja na kwamba katika mataifa yote matatu ‘usalama wa chakula unaendelea “kuwa tishio” huku yakipewa alama 29.8, 27.2 na 23.7, kulingana na ripoti.

Hakuna ufumbuzi wa haraka

Wataalam wa usalama wa chakula wanapendekeza kuwa mataifa mengine ya Afrika yafuate nyayo za Ghana katika kuwekeza kwenye kilimo, na kuonya kuwa hakuna hatua ya haraka ya kuondokana na kukosekana kwa usalama wa chakula katika bara.

Pamoja na kwamba misaada ya muda mfupi inapambana na njaa, kwa mfano msaada wa chakula, ni muhimu kuondokana na uhaba usioonekana, serikali za Afrika zinatakiwa kulenga katika mikakati ya muda mrefu ya kukuza uzalishaji wa kilimo, anasema Dk Joyce Chitja, kaimu mkurugenzi wa Kituo cha Usalama wa Chakula Afrika katika Chuo Kikuu cha KwaZulu-Natal nchini Afrika Kusini.

“Ni muhimu kuhakikisha kuwa mipango ya kuondokana na njaa na misaada ya chakula inaondolewa polepole kwa kufanya uzalishaji wa kilimo kuwa wa kawaida,” anaelezea, akibainisha kuwa serikali zinahitaji “kufufua na kuanzisha tena uzalishaji wa kilimo”.

Hendriks anakubaliana kuwa kukosekana kwa usalama wa chakula katika bara kunaweza kutatuliwa tu kama nchi za Afrika zitazalisha chakula cha kutosha kulisha wakazi wake: “Ufumbuzi wa kukosekana kwa usalama wa chakula barani Afrika utategemeana na uzalishaji wa kilimo cha mazao, mifugo na uvuvi, ikiwa ni pamoja na upatikanaji wa masoko na miundombinu.” (END/2010)

Chanzo; Chris Stain

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Farmers’ battle to cope with climate change could spark rural renewal

Shifting world agriculture to a “climate-smart” approach will not only help prevent future food security crises but holds the promise of sparking economic and agricultural renewal in rural areas where hunger and poverty are most prevalent, argues a new FAO publication.

On the one hand, the magnitude and scope of climate change’s impacts on agricultural systems means that boosting rural communities’ resilience and adaptive capacities is essential to safeguarding world food security.

Rising temperatures and an increased frequency of extreme weather events will have direct and negative impacts on crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture productivity in the years to come, as clearly indicated in the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Vulnerable, farming-dependent populations in the developing world are particularly at risk.

But at the same time, the compelling need to deal with the challenges posed by climate change offers an opportunity to transform the way food systems use natural resources, improve agriculture’s sustainability and promote poverty reduction and economic growth, the publication adds.

Highlighting cases studies in “climate-smart agriculture” from around the globe, FAO’s document shows that many rural communities are already successfully making the transition to new forms of farming better suited to the rigors of a warmer world.

“A shift to climate-smart agriculture will not only help shield farmers from the adverse effects of climate change and offer a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but can also improve farm yields and household incomes, leading to stronger, more resilient communities,” said FAO Deputy Director-General Helena Semedo.

“We can no longer afford to separate the future of food security from that of natural resources, the environment and climate change – they are inextricably intertwined and our response must be as well,” she added.

Climate-smart agriculture

The model of climate-smart agriculture that FAO is promoting seeks to address three broad objectives:
• Sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes
• Help rural communities and farmers adapt to and become more resilient to the effects of climate change
• To reduce or remove agriculture’s greenhouse gases emissions, when possible.
Exactly how farmers go about tackling these goals can change from place to place, depending on local circumstances.

Source: FAO

Climate change adaptation can help to promote Sub-Saharan African Livelihoods.

Investing in ways to adapt to climate change will promote the livelihood of 65 per cent of Africans, the United Nations environmental agency reported, warning also that failing to address the phenomenon could reverse decades of development progress on the continent.

Africa’s population is set to double to 2 billion by 2050, the majority of whom will continue to depend on agriculture to make a living, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

“With 94 per cent of agriculture dependent on rainfall, the future impacts of climate change – including increased droughts, flooding, and seal-level rise – may reduce crop yields in some parts of Africa by 15 – 20 per cent,” UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said.

“Such a scenario, if unaddressed, could have grave implications for Africa’s most vulnerable states,” he added.

In a new graphical report, Keeping Track of Adaptation Actions in Africa (KTAA) – Targeted Fiscal Stimulus Actions Making a Difference, UNEP details the implications of climate change, and provides examples of adaptation projects that range from forest ecosystem management to aquatics and agriculture.

The report describes sustainable examples of how countries in sub-Saharan Africa enhanced environmental and ecosystem resilience through the use of native plants and natural infrastructure, land plans and rainwater harvesting, among other examples.

The projects are integrated into national development policies which can strengthen and enhance the resilience communities against the impacts of climate change, while also contributing to the realization of the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to the report authors.

“By integrating climate change adaptation strategies in national development policies Governments can provide transitional pathways to green growth and protect and improve the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of Africans,” Mr. Steiner noted.
The projects also highlight the urgency to act now in adapting to challenges, especially in developing countries where capabilities to respond to the magnitude of the problem are limited.

This year’s Africa Environment Day, marked annually on 3 March, focused on combating desertification on the continent and enhancing its agriculture and food security. The continent has lost 65 per cent of its agricultural land since 1950 due to land degradation, according to figures cited by UNEP. Up to 12 per cent of its agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) is lost due to deteriorating conditions and 135 million people are at risk of having to move from their land by 2020 due to desertification.

Source; UN Report, August 2014.

How Africa can help feed the world’s 9 billion in 2050

How Africa can help feed the world’s 9 billion people in 2050

With the global population expected to increase to over 9 billion people in 2050, experts have been predicting dire food situations. In Africa, in particular, the population is projected to go from being home to 15 percent of the world population today to 25 percent in 2050.

However, it is also Africa that offers major solutions in feeding the world. While there’s no silver bullet to providing food for all, here are some examples of what can be (and is being) done to improve food production and distribution in Africa:

1. While other regions have reached the limits to agricultural yield per hectare of land, Africa can substantially increase yields with currently available technology.

In certain parts of Africa, farmer yields remain as low as 1-1.5 tons per hectare, compared to potential yields of 3.5 tons per hectare in other regions of the world. That current underperformance translates into future opportunity.

Some companies are recognizing African farmers’ potential, including IGD member Seed Co., Africa’s largest proprietary seed breeding, production, processing and distribution group. Seed Co. is a founder of the Last Mile Alliance, an innovative model that brings together commercial partners (providers of high-quality farm inputs, financial services and insurance), existing agro-dealers, foundations and donors to create a cost-effective rural distribution network to reach smallholder farmers in Tanzania, delivering both commercial success and development impact at scale.

2. A lot of the added food needed to feed an expanding population already exists — we just need to reduce food spoilage and waste, and Africa is no exception.

More than 30 percent of all food produced in the world for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted, and saving just a quarter of that food would allow us to feed an added 870 million hungry people. Where in the value chain is food wasted? In medium- and high-income countries, quality standards that over-emphasize food’s appearance and consumer decisions to buy more food contribute heavily to massive food waste. In contrast, food loss in Africa occurs almost entirely in the production and distribution stages, leading experts to call for investment in infrastructure, transportation, packaging facilities and processing in the developing world to fight food loss.

Through the IGD-Rockefeller Post-Harvest Loss Project, IGD has engaged more than 45 companies in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria to identify scalable, market-led solutions to reduce waste and spoilage in several value chains. For example, the Dutch Agriculture Development & Trading Co., a private company established in 2002 to drive poverty alleviation via business methods, is currently tackling the issue of food spoilage. Through its autonomous mobile processing units, DADTCO brings processing directly to cassava farmers in Ghana, Mozambique and Nigeria, circumventing spoilage issues that arise during transportation of cassava to traditional processing plants.

3. Compared to other global regions, Africa’s potential for sheer expansion of cultivated land is huge.

Some 60 percent of Earth’s uncultivated land is located in Africa. That translates into 600 million hectares. While not all potential farmland should be converted given environmental and commercial considerations, the opportunity for sustainable expansion does exist. As the efficiency of land use increases through yields, less land will be needed for farms in the future.

While analysts are concerned about global population growth, signs of progress in food security persist. In Africa, with continued efforts in increasing yields, reducing waste and efficiently using land, the continent’s agricultural potential will be part of the solution to feeding 9 billion people by 2050.

Source: Jessica Ernst, July 2014.

The right policies for African Agriculture

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The right policies for African Agriculture.

The majority of farmers in Africa are smallholders, farming less than 2 hectares. While Dobie recognizes such farming systems can be extremely productive (and that presently a large proportion of Africa’s food comes from smallholders) the fact remains that 23 per cent of Africans are undernourished and much of this is due to poor agricultural output. What are needed are broad-based policies that tackle poverty among smallholders now, and prepare the way for a transformation of African agriculture for the future, says Dobie.

Climate change is predicted to have a drastic impact on food production, especially in Africa, making it even more difficult for smallholder farmers to sustain their livelihoods through agriculture. Increasing the efficiency of large-scale land use should provide the investment which is needed to adapt to climate change, argues Dobie.

What is needed in Africa are a range of improvements to many aspects of crop production at once. For example: technologies that improve soil fertility such as fertilizer trees; secure rights to use land so that farmers are motivated to make long-term investments in land management or cash-in and find other ways of earning a living; and better access by farmers to credit and insurance that will encourage investment and reduce risks.

The way agriculture fits within the entire ecological system must also be considered. Farming co-exists alongside a range of different land uses – trees that control the supply of water, grasslands upon which livestock depend, insects that pollinate crops – that all affect production. Policy makers need to take account of this mosaic and the multiple benefits of landscapes.

“Policy makers in Africa have an important role in enabling a transformation of agriculture,” says Dobie. “They need to develop policies that increase production, incomes and food security for smallholders while encouraging farming to evolve from its smallholder base into larger farms.” This, he says, can be achieved through diversification of agriculture on the continent, planting more high-value crops, value adding through local processing and the adoption of new technologies.

Getting policymakers to understand the need for improving entire crop production and marketing systems is a major challenge. Dobie advocates for taking agricultural development out of its exclusive agricultural silo and bringing in policy makers and practitioners from other sectors such as finance, water resources, transport, infrastructure and banking.

“There is no single policy for agriculture in Africa,” concludes Dobie. “It will take a range of mutually reinforcing policies across a number of sectors to lead us towards agriculture that is truly climate-smart.

Source: Kate Langford.

More than 80% of natural disasters are climate related.

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More than 80% of natural disasters are climate related.
Millions of people around the world already struggle to achieve food security and climate change is set to make those challenges even harder. It is perhaps humanity’s most pressing challenge, as we seek to nourish more than nine billion people by 2050.
The impacts of climate change will be numerous, affecting both food supply and demand. Droughts and water scarcity reduce overall food security and diminish dietary diversity. Infectious disease, which shares a vicious circle with malnutrition, will also increase as a result of climate change. Food systems at local levels in small farming communities will also be adversely affected, and overall, climate change could potentially slow down or reverse progress toward a world without hunger.
Poverty and climate change
There is growing recognition that the impacts of climate change and poverty are closely interconnected, as climate change impacts land availability, rainfed agriculture, and the emergence of diseases in the crop, forestry and fishery sectors. Poor people are disproportionately dependent on rainfed agriculture for their livelihoods, and they are thus especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
The increasing frequency and intensity of climatic shocks will decrease poor producers’ abilities to sell an agricultural surplus, meaning less reinvestment in their farms and other livelihood activities, and less ability to buy a nourishing diet. In total, research by Ericksen et al (2011) found that around 265 million people across Latin America, Southern and West Africa, Eastern China, Southeast Asia, and the northern part of south Asia are highly vulnerable to a 5% decrease in the length of the growing season and are likely to face declines in food security due to climate change over the next 40 years.
Gender and climate change.Climate change does not affect men and women equally and might exacerbate gender inequalities with women being disproportionately affected. As women are more dependent on livelihoods and natural resources that are sensitive to climatic changes, they are also more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In addition, women represent the majority of the world’s poor and this means they often also lack the means to cope with adverse climate change impacts.
Research highlighted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO, 2011: 5) show that yields on women’s farms could increase by 20–30% if women had the same access to productive resources as men. This could raise total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5–4%, which could in turn reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12–17%.
Source: Simon Bager – CGIAR 2014

Africa and climate change

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Africa needs about $675 billion by 2030 to achieve low-carbon sustainable growth; the current carbon market for mitigation is not sufficient to address this. The Clean Development Mechanism, the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program, and the voluntary offset program are not fully utilized. Africa’s total ecological footprint is set to double by 2040. Ten African nations have pledged to include the economic value of natural resources in their national accounts. The regional focus will be on adaptation to climate change rather than mitigation

Price and weather-indexed insurance schemes will help Africa stabilize prices in domestic markets and help farmers adapt to climate change. Southern Africa could lose more than 30% of its maize crop by 2030 due to climate change. Sudan planted cotton for the first time in 2012, making it the fourth country in Africa to commercialize a biotech crop after South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt. Re-afforestation, saltwater agriculture along the coasts, and solar energy in the Sahara could be massive sources of sustainable growth. Mayors in Mali are now required to have couples plant trees as part of their marriage registration process.

Source: NOAA National Climatic Data Center with Millennium Project estimates