Towards a Prosperous African Agriculture

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In this opinion piece, 2017 World Food Prize Laureate Dr. Akinwumi Adesina sets out his vision for catalysing investment in an Africa-owned transformation of the continent’s agriculture sector. No region of the world has ever industrialised without the agricultural sector being first transformed. Africa is the last continent to do so and needs to catch up fast. Although 60% of the population are involved in farming, it accounts for less than one seventh of its GDP, and African agricultural yield is the lowest in the world. Yet this very fact offers a large-scale opportunity for international investors and big-ticket entrepreneurs.  In Africa, economic diversification and lasting wealth creation begins with a vibrant agriculture sector. Between $30 and $40 billion a year over the next ten years is needed to transform African agriculture and create the vibrancy. It’s a lot of money, but it is available, even within Africa, if the projects are good enough. Read More

Realizing Latin America’s Potential as a Global Breadbasket

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In this guest blog, Dr. Víctor Villalobos, Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture discusses how Latin America can meet its potential to become a global food basket – feeding its own population and the rest of the world. As our global population increases, so must our agricultural production: fast, significantly and sustainably. This increase needs to be achieved, primarily by increases in productivity, rather than an increase in cultivated areas, and it all needs to be done under increased pressure for natural resources and greater climate variability.  These challenges represent unique opportunities for human imagination, and offer Latin America a unique opportunity to step up as a “Global Food Basket”. Read More

Tackling the “Other” Malnutrition on the Rise in Africa: Obesity

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In this guest post, Sheryl Hendriks, Director of the Institute for Food Nutrition and Well-being at the University of Pretoria, South Africa argues an unexpected but dangerous form of malnutrition is on the rise in Africa, and outlines recommendations from the Malabo Montepellier Panel on how to tackle it.   The Borlaug Dialogue, happening this week in Iowa, will convene global leaders, farmers, agribusiness and development experts to address the most critical issues facing global food security. When we think of food security and nutrition, especially in Africa, a key question that comes to mind is how countries can best tackle malnutrition? When thinking of malnutrition we can be forgiven for conjuring a vision of listless, pot-bellied children with dull eyes and skinny limbs. This sadly remains a reality in many countries across the continent with a total of 14 million children wasted – too thin for their height. But there is another form of malnutrition that is spreading silently through Africa, and it is just as dangerous: obesity. Read More