The progress being made across the continent in the last few years should give us real hope for the future. Creative thinking, effective partnerships, leadership from governments and the efforts of smallholder farmers are helping drive the development of Africa's agriculture.
But we still remain a long way from our hoped-for destination. So what are the broader lessons we can learn from the progress so far? What are the obstacles that still need to be overcome to achieve our ambitions to transform Africa's ability to meet and exceed its own food needs?
Worried about the nation’s dependence on oil, many have advocated a paradigm shift to agriculture, another means to further boost the economy and reduce poverty.
They hinged their argument on the fact that rural-urban drift which at the end make majority of the youths roam the cities in search of jobs that are not available could be tamed if agriculture is made attractive and the rural areas equipped with basic infrastructures like electricity and good roads among others.
Agricultural research produced in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation concluded last week that Africa should stop relying on just a handful of crops and developing new seeds as the default solutions to end hunger and poverty.
The message, outlined in a report by the Worldwatch Institute, appears out of step with the Gates foundation’s funding of agrotechnology initiatives to achieve agricultural development in Africa.
With nearly a billion people people going hungry in the world today as 40 percent of the global food stock is wasted before it is consumed, many are seeking ways to increase the efficiency of the world's food system. Worldwatch Institute, an environmental sustainability and social welfare research organization, today released State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, which highlights recent successes in agricultural innovation and outlines ways to reduce global hunger and poverty while at the same time minimizing the impact of agriculture on the environment.
The Philippines got a $4.97-million World Bank grant to help farmers cope with the effects of climate change, the multilateral lender said in a statement released on Friday. The government and the World bank signed the agreement last Dec. 21, the statement said.
The grant, to come from the Global Environment facility of the World Bank-managed Special Climate Change Fund, will help finance the $55.42-million Philippines Climate Change Adaptation Project (PhilCCAP).
While frustration over the glacial pace of progress at global conferences gets all the headlines, useful work on the ground continues to be done to help people adapt better to climate change.
After water nearly overtook his village in northern Nigeria, Ali Gudinchin jumped into the rushing flood with a knife, cutting away ears of corn from stalks barely rising above the muddy surface.
He ended up with only three sacks worth of food, compared to the 50-odd bags of grains and vegetables he typically grows during the arid region's brief fertile season.