Africa

Latest GIEWS Country Briefs

Several new country briefs for Africa south of the Sahara have recently been released by FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning Systems (GIEWS). The GIEWS country brief series provides an overview of the food security situation in prioritized countries, focusing on the current agricultural season, harvest prospects for staple food crops and livestock, estimates and forecasts of cereal production, and food price and food policy trends.

Senegal's Fertilizer Subsidy: Boon for Agricultural Productivity?

In 2006, the African Union Ministers of Agriculture met in Abuja, Nigeria to discuss how to improve the region’s agricultural productivity through the increased use of fertilizers. The main goal of the subsequent Abuja Declaration was a regional increase in the level of fertilizers used from 8 kilograms per hectare to at least 50 kilograms per hectare by 2015. The Declaration also revived interest in the use of input subsidy programs.

Ethiopia's Wheat Value Chain

Wheat plays a leading role in both the diet and the economy of Ethiopia. According to research conducted by IFPRI for the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), wheat is the fourth most widely grown crop in the country (after teff, maize, and sorghum) and ranks fourth (tied with teff) in terms of the gross value of production. In addition, wheat and wheat products make up 14 percent of the country’s total caloric intake.

Driving Agricultural Adaptation

Agriculture in West Africa faces numerous challenges, including soil degradation, market instability, and significant threats from climate change. In response to these obstacles, many adaptation strategies, such as production of non-traditional crop varieties, have been encouraged. It remains less clear, however, what actually drives farmers’ decisions to adopt (or not adopt) these strategies. For example, a farmer may choose to plant a new crop variety in response to a short-term drought or as part of a longer term strategy to adapt to climate change. 

New Efforts Focus on Economic Benefits of Improved Nutrition

Malnutrition places a significant economic burden on African countries, costing between 3 and 16 percent of annual GDP, according to a new working paper from the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition (GLOPAN). Thus, improving nutrition in the region should not be viewed as just another development outcome; rather, nutrition interventions should be seen as potential drivers of development and economic growth in and of themselves.

SDGs: Africa's Progress to Date

According to the World Bank’s 2016 World Development Indicators (WDI) report, extreme poverty rates have fallen in Africa south of the Sahara over the last two decades, but not as quickly as in other regions. SSA’s extreme poverty rates declined from around 55 percent in 1990 to around 45 percent in 2012, while extreme poverty in South Asia fell from 51 percent to 19 percent during the same period.

Way Ahead for Agricultural Productivity

Agricultural Productivity in Africa

Cautious Optimism for African Agriculture

 

Cautiously Optimistic Outlook for African Agriculture

Ethiopia's Drought and Cereal Prices

Since 2015, Ethiopia has been hard hit by droughts triggered by El Niño.  These droughts have reduced agricultural output and livestock production throughout the country and have driven large numbers into food insecurity. The Government of Ethiopia estimates that 10.2 million people will need emergency food aid in 2016, in addition to the 7.9 million people already covered by the country’s Productive Safety Net Programme.

Global Food Policy Report: Making Africa's Food System More Inclusive, Sustainable

IFPRI’s 2016 Global Food Policy Report (GFPR) gives some good news for Africa – poverty and hunger both fell during the period 2003-2014. The share of the region’s population living on less than US$1.25 per day (purchasing power parity) declined from 42.9 percent to 36.9 percent, while the prevalence of malnourishment fell from 22.1 percent to 17 percent. Child stunting also fell from 40.2 percent to 35.9 percent.

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