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Every year, people in Sub-Saharan Africa consume 34 million tons of milled rice, of which 43 percent is imported. But the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly hampered supply chains, making it difficult for imported rice to reach the continent. Indeed, if immediate action is not taken, the supply shortfall will further strain the region’s food systems which are already impacted by the pandemic.
This post originally appeared on the IFPRI.org blog and the GSSP blog.
It is no secret that fertilizer subsidies are back in vogue across Africa south of the Sahara as the preferred tool for governments trying to boost incomes of poor smallholder farmers by increasing farm production and agricultural productivity. The financial burden of fertilizer subsidies is also widely recognized, exacerbated by the expense of improving the accuracy of targeting, as discussed in Jayne et al, 2018.
Fifty-seven out of 129 countries around the world are faced with very serious levels of both undernutrition and adult overweight and obesity, according to the 2016 Global Nutrition Report . Africa remains one of the regions most plagued by these varied threats of malnutrition, and the continent will need to make strong commitments to reach the goal set forth by the SDGs of ending malnutrition in all its forms by 2030.
Focusing on agricultural growth, particularly that of smallholder farmers, can help countries in Africa south of the Sahara achieve broader economic and development objectives, including poverty reduction, says a new open-access book prepared by the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER) and published by Oxford Press.
FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning Systems (GIEWS) has released several new country briefs for Africa south of the Sahara. This series of briefs provides an overview of the food security situation in monitored countries, focusing on the current agricultural season, harvests prospects for staple food crops and livestock, estimates and forecasts of cereal production, and food price and food policy trends.