By Joshua Masinde
Crop yields in Africa south of the Sahara are generally low, in large part because of low fertilizer use. A recent study of six countries in the region showed that only 35% of farmers applied fertilizer. There are many possible reasons why farmers do not use fertilizer. They may be unaware of its effectiveness; or have degraded soils that do not respond to fertilizer; they may not have the cash to purchase it; or unpredictable rainfall may make such investments risky. Local fertilizer prices may also cut into potential profits for many farmers.
This post originally appeared on the IFPRI-WCAO blog .
The prolonged heatwave of summer 2018 has devastated crops across Europe, leaving some countries facing their worst harvests since the end of World War II.
The hot temperatures and lack of rainfall, especially in central and Eastern Europe, has forced major exporting countries to import food for the first time in decades. Some countries are facing rising food prices as a result, while others, such as the UK, experience fruit and vegetable shortages in supermarkets.
Food security is a simple phrase that encompasses an incredibly complex concept.