As the world searches desperately for ways to boost food production by at least 70 percent by 2050 to feed an increasingly hungry planet, many are looking to Africa as the place where a large part of this potential can be realised, mainly for its huge portion of arable land.
Arusha, Tazania, will soon become the site of a major brainstorming session on this very topic, when it plays host to the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) from Sept. 26 to 28, which is aimed at developing African-led food security solutions.
At the recent G8 Summit, global leaders including 21 African countries and 27 private sector companies committed three billion dollars to a new alliance for food security and nutrition.
Their goal is to raise 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years. AGRF is designed to encourage African leaders’ commitments by promoting ad hoc investments and policy support to increase agricultural productivity and income growth for African farmers – primarily through environmentally sustainable methods and innovative agricultural finance models.
The President of IFAD, Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze, will address these issues at the Arusha Forum in a panel focusing on how to make African national and regional markets work.
Tanzania’s recent agricultural growth represents a case study of what is possible, forum organisers say. In the Kilombero district of Morogoro, the yields for maize have recently increased for some smallholder farmers from 1.5 to 4.5 tonnes per hectare; the yields for rice have increased from 2.5 to 6.5 tonnes per hectare.
That smallholder farmers hold the key to Africa’s agricultural potential is widely recognised, and activists hope the forum will “explore new ways to provide resources, overcome challenges and improve yields for the millions of farmers who are working less than two hectares of land…
Read more: All Africa