Since mid-2018, conflict in the Liptako-Gourma region, the border connecting western Niger, northern and eastern Burkina Faso, and central and northeastern Mali, has displaced almost 700,000 people and caused massive disruptions to market functioning and livelihoods, according to a recent alert from FEWS Net . These disruptions are expected to continue to drive urgent humanitarian needs through the rest of 2020.
On July 10, agricultural experts from Africa, Europe, and Asia met in Lilongwe, Malawi for the latest meeting of the Malabo Montpellier Forum . The Forum provides a platform for informed dialogue and exchange among African policy makers, politicians and decision-makers on African agriculture and food security.
In Africa south of the Sahara, lack of access to financial services and products poses a serious challenge for agricultural growth and productivity. Many smallholder farmers are cash-poor; it is common for farmers in the region to sell their crops immediately after harvest in order to meet their immediate cash needs rather than waiting for prices to go up and thus increasing their profits. This lack of available capital, coupled with the difficulty smallholders often face in accessing credit, limits their ability to invest in their farms and in other incoming generating activities.