From Inter Press Services:
Sub-Saharan Africa may be home to six of the world’s 10-fastest growing economies, but it also has a majority of the countries that are suffering from a food crisis.
In fact, of the 20 countries in the world suffering from prolonged food shortages, 17 are in Africa, according to José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The commitment to making agricultural development and the eradication of hunger the focus of Africa’s growing economy reached a new consensus when African and international leaders and key stakeholders met at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa from Jun. 30 to Jul. 1. At the summit, leaders agreed to renew their partnership and commitment to “Zero Hunger” in Africa by 2025.
Da Silva helped launch and implement the Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) programme in his native Brazil, which prioritised investment in poor farmers through social protection nets, and lifted 28 million Brazilians out of poverty.
Da Silva says that he is confidant that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the number of hungry people in African countries by 2015 can be reached and that the goal is not too ambitious. The eight MDGs, adopted by all U.N. member states in 2000, aim to curb poverty, disease and gender inequality.
He believes that Africa is entering a new era with greater investment in agriculture, and that stronger coordination between governments, civil society organisations and the private sector would make the goal of zero hunger in Africa realistic by 2025.
Read the full interview.
Picture courtesy Busani Bafana/IPS