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As Ethiopia’s population has become increasingly urbanized over the past decade, more and more households have come to rely on markets, rather than their own farms, for their daily food needs. This dependence means that well-functioning agri-food value chains have become increasingly vital to food security for much of the population.
With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting livelihoods, and the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) now beginning to influence food flows, agricultural trade in Africa is in a state of flux, with both challenges and opportunities. While AfCFTA implementation has begun, some crucial negotiations remain to be completed, and the full scope of its impact is not yet clear.
Prevalence of hunger and food insecurity have been on the rise in Africa south of the Sahara (SSA) in recent years after a long period of decline. In 2020, an estimated one in five people in the region faced hunger, more than double the proportion of any other region worldwide. The period 2019-2020 in SSA saw the strongest increase in annual undernourishment ever recorded. In 2020, estimated prevalence of undernourishment ranged from 10.1 percent in southern Africa to 31.8 percent in Central Africa.
In 2018, African swine fever (ASF), a deadly hemorrhagic disease found in pigs, was reported for the first time in China. By mid-2019, the disease had infected hundreds of millions of pigs—anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of the country’s swine population. Millions of pigs were culled in an effort to slow the spread of the disease, resulting in a drastic reduction in the volume of Chinese pork produced.
Throughout the Sahel region of West Africa, the majority of crops and livestock are produced during one main rainy season. Any disruptions to this season—like those caused, for example, by climate change-induced drought—can have significant negative impacts on incomes, food availability, and food security for both producers and consumers. A new article in Global Food Security examines these impacts at the household level in Senegal.