Food security

WB Says African Could Avoid Food Shortages

The World Bank says that Africa could avoid food shortages if it reduces the tangled web of rules, fees and high costs strangling regional food trade and by putting large swathes of uncultivated land to productive use.

The bank’s vice president for Africa, Makhtar Diop, points out that, "Too often borders get in the way of getting food to homes and communities which are struggling with too little to eat."

South Africans Urged to Use Land ‘Productively’

President Jacob Zuma has reiterated his support for the campaign that encourages South Africans to productively use the land to improve food security for millions of citizens.

Zuma states that in order to reduce food insecurity in rural areas, government is promoting food gardens and other forms of subsistence agriculture, involving civil society.

He stresses the importance of people going back to the land and not to view social grants, wage employment and non-agricultural informal activities as the only source of income for rural households.

World Grain Reserves Low - FAO

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says that world grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States or other food-exporting countries could trigger a hunger crisis next year.

FAO senior economist, Abdolreza Abbassian, points out that, "We've not been producing as much as we are consuming. That is why stocks are being run down. Supplies are now very tight across the world and reserves are at a very low level, leaving no room for unexpected events next year.”

NGO, Govt, Fight Hunger and Poverty

Zambia has experienced more than a decade of food production declines which has resulted in widespread hunger and poverty in rural communities.

The organisation works with rural communities specifically and priority is given to income generating projects, which include small-scale enterprises in farming, beekeeping, aquaculture, agro-processing, carpentry and other skills training, in targeted communities.

868 Million People Starve Worldwide, Says FAO

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says that one out of every eight people in the world is chronically undernourished.

The UN agency warns that progress to reduce hunger has slowed since 2007/08 when high food prices sparked riots in several poor countries.

In its latest report on food insecurity, FAO estimates that 868 million people are suffering hunger in 2010-2012, or about 12.5 percent of the world's population, down more sharply than previously estimated from about 1 billion, or 18.6 percent in 1990-92.

Africa Urged to Connect Technologies to Farmers

African leaders in the agricultural sector have called on their governments to ensure the development of a constant stream of new technologies for small holder farmers to help them increase productivity.

The call was made during the second and final day of the Africa Green Revolution Forum during a session on the theme ‘How technological change in agriculture is essential for Improving food Security and Agricultural growth’.

Food Prices to Soar Due to Climate Change - Oxfam

Anti-poverty group, Oxfam, has warned that staple food prices may double within the next two decades due to climate change and an increase in extreme weather including droughts and hurricanes.

The organisation also warns that current climate change research is not taking into account extreme weather events, which it warned could also temporarily send up prices by a similar amount.

SA Scores High on Global Food Security Index

South Africa is ranking 40th out of 105 countries in the Global Food Security Index, with the United States on top and the Democratic Republic of Congo at the bottom.

The index, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, also ranks South Africa at 13th position in a division of 28 countries by income streaming.

In addition, the Index also found that countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are the most vulnerable to high food prices.

Masibambane Rural Development Hailed

President Jacob Zuma says the Masibambane Rural Development Initiative will help some rural communities to stop relying mainly on social grants by restoring their dignity.

Addressing residents at the Ncora Irrigation Scheme in the Eastern Cape, Zuma says inter-governmental efforts to improve the lives of the people are working, noting that government is ‘better organised this time around’.

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