Factors Affecting Food Production in Africa
Agriculture is the spinal column of economy in Africa. Almost every nation in the second largest continent depends on agriculture for day to day survival. Food production industry is quite complex and holds a deep-rooted history. Advancements in technology have also impacted food production. It is a process that comprises factors such as land use and tenure, crop breeding and selection, crop and soil management, livestock breeding and harvesting and much more. A lot of factors have been cited to make it hard for many farmers to enjoy great outputs from their farmers.
Africa population has been increasing on daily basis and the demand for more food has also been affected in most of the nations in need. Millions of people in Africa fight with hunger every day. Most of those languishing in the menace are the victims of natural calamities, rural people and urban poor. African nations have chances of feeding their suffering people if they embrace better governance, better agricultural policies and rely on better agricultural training and many other effective measures.
Africa holds immeasurable potential for boosting food production in every nation. It can easily increase food crops and other profitable agricultural commodities by following the right ways of farming. According to the United Nations, if there is no progress in food production in the continent, then the estimated population of people suffering from hunger will increase rapidly and millions will relinquish to famine by 2050.
Notably, food production in Africa can easily increase with time if better strategies are embraced. For instance, Africa agriculture experienced a 3.5 percent growth in 2008. However, in the same year when recession hit the globe, food price spiked and this was a warning for better production. At the same time, the prices of staple foods also skyrocketed and this makes it clear that governments should be ready to take hold of factors affecting food production. These factors include;
- Water stress- agriculture amounts for 70% of the world’s consumption of fresh water that is also extracted for human use. The United Nations foresees that by 2025, irrigation demands will raise by 50 % to 100%. For farmers living in areas that receive low water amount will suffer greatly. Many countries in Africa take place in water wars, while a quarter of the population is languishing in water stress.
- Climate change- Agriculture is a great supplier of harmful greenhouse gases. Despite climate change been a
globe issue , it Alsip benefits agriculture by providing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere making it easy for plants to releasing more carbon and lead to global warming leading and this will lead to more industrial-scale farming. Unluckily, global warming will lead to increased localized drought. Climate change will also lead to an increase in pests activities which may mitigate food yields. In a sense, climate change can be good or bad for production, but with good agriculture zones, all can be well.
- Global economic crisis- World economic crisis have great impact on food production in Africa. Declining incomes worldwide and the effects of recession have impacted food production in Africa. Other nations that relied on food imports from africa have reduced their spending making it hard for Africa countries to make revenues in return. This has also led to lower exports and prices for agricultural commodities.
- Governmental and institutional policies or failings- many governments in Africa pay less attention on food production or security. Institutional problems have led to lack of funds and debt capital for farmers to invest on farming greatly. Without government incentives, many farmers have moved into other profit making ways.
- Poor access to the markets- Lack of proper infrastructures in Africa has proved to be a challenge to many farmers. Many farmers suffer losses when they lack quicker and better ways of delivering their produces.
Factors such as diseases like HIV/AIDS, slow progress in regional integration and lack sustainability have also made food production challenging in most of African nations. To meet the high demands for food in the continent, multinational and collaborative efforts that integrate the best research, training and technologies needed to increase food production for many decades.
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