Africa needs to step up agricultural productivity – AU

Africa has no excuse for not being able to feed itself, according to African Union Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, report.

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She was speaking at the African Union Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the theme was agriculture and food security.

According to Dlamini-Zuma said that Africa is not fully utilising its many resources “and this needs to change.”

Dlamini-Zuma said she could not understand why Africa, which has not exhausted its arable land, continued to import food from other continents.

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Describing Africa as “food and nutrition insecure”, she emphasised the importance of concentrating on land and ensuring that prospective farmers had access to capital.

“We need to see how we can change the situation from being net importers of food to producing enough food for ourselves, processing and exporting to major markets.”

Oxfam, meanwhile, noted that the Horn of Africa has been in the grip of a major food crisis since 2011, with millions of people severely affected in the drought-stricken areas of Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda.

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) requires countries to commit at least 10% of their national budgets to agriculture. However, only eight countries of the 30 signatories have surpassed the 10% target since 2003.