Food security has been a significant concern for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), even before the onslaught of challenges brought about by COVID-19. As the pandemic started spreading to the region, one concern has been that of its possible impacts on food security, as the crisis has the potential to exacerbate an already fragile food security environment.
In December 2015, representatives from the Zambian Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries and Livestock, the EU, IFPRI , the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) , Zambia’s CSO-SUN Alliance , and Zambia’s National Food and Nutrition Commission met at the “Enhancing the link between evidence and agriculture, food, and nutrition” policy dialogue. The event focused on painting a clearer picture of the global food and nutrition security environment and assessing Zambia’s risks and opportunities regarding its domestic food and nutrition security.
Agricultural mechanization can help reduce farmers’ labor costs and increase agricultural productivity; however, in many parts of Africa south of the Sahara, most farm activities still rely on human and animal power ( IFPRI Insights , September 2014 ). Increasing Africa’s agricultural mechanization could be a key driver of future development in the region, but only if it is done properly and sustainably.
South Africa is in the throes of the worst drought in 30 years, according to a recent BBC article . Driven by the on-going El Niño cycle , below average rainfall and above average temperatures have limited crop development and water availability throughout the region.
Food and nutrition security (FNS) is a multi-dimensional concept, spanning the agriculture, trade, health, and social sectors. Often, however, policies only address FNS through one lens: that of food production. This could be due to the fact that many FNS stakeholders have a background in agriculture and thus tend to focus on sectoral agricultural issues, says a new report from the FoodSecure project .