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Africa : planned increase in agricultural production to fight the food crisis

While the prices of certain foodstuffs continue to rise on the market due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine; African authorities are analyzing the prospects that could enable the continent to produce all that it consumes. According to statistics from the International Trade Center, African countries imported agricultural products worth 4 billion dollars from Russia in 2020. Wheat accounted for 90% of these products, and sunflower oil 6 %. Ukraine, on the other hand, exported agricultural products with a global value of 2.9 billion dollars to Africa in 2020. Thus, bringing the production of these foods to the level of the continent should allow African countries to better fight against a possible food crisis.

Solving problems of the food deficit observed on the African continent is the new objective that  African countries, members of the African Union, have set for themselves. A deficit aggravated according to observers by the war in Ukraine. Although  African countries are not all in a single space, they are all very dependent on imports of foodstuffs from the two countries at war. And a deterioration of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict could, in the opinion of some experts, make the situation unbearable for several countries on the continent.

Citizens no longer have access to food, leading to malnutrition. We have difficulties like that of drought, we must produce seeds that are resistant to drought and for this purpose, research, innovation and new technologies must be considered as one of our priorities.

Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission

According to a recent study made  by the Policy Center for the New South, a think tank based in Morocco, 16 African countries regrouping nearly 40% of the continent’s population, depend up to nearly 56% on Russian and Ukrainian wheat. The highest dependency ratios were recorded in Eritrea at 100%, Somalia at 90%, Seychelles at 90%, DRC at 85% and Egypt at 80%.

 We are in a position to draw everyone’s attention to the effects of climate change on our populations. To this end, we have addressed as early as plea so that funds can be made available to us to enable us to save lives.

Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission

Besides the Russo-Ukranian conflict, the other factors causing the food deficit in Africa are climate change and the conflicts observed in certain regions of the continent which prevent farmers from working normally.

We have initiatives such as the Agricultural Adaptation Initiative and African Agricultural Adaptation, but which cannot be implemented due to lack of funding.

Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission

Let’s recall that Russia and Ukraine both play a central role in supplying the world with cereals and basic oils, together supplying more than a third of wheat and barley, 52% of maize and more than 50 % oil and sunflower seeds.

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