Gauteng and NW Province

Food security action must follow words

With the backing of the G8 and the private sector, smallholding farming will take Africa forward.

Comments Jane Karuku

In the lead-up to this past weekend’s G8 summit, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa met United States President Barack Obama and African heads of state to launch the next phase of our shared commitment to achieving global food security.

Focussed on engaging the private sector in funding agricultural development, this initiative presents a new opportunity to find practical solutions to the devastating food crises that still plague Africa.

To make the most of recent momentum, G8 leaders, African governments and the private sector need to take the following steps to deliver lasting food-security solutions.

First, G8 countries, African governments and the private sector need to put in place measures to ensure money is effectively dispersed. Multibillion-dollar commitments hold great promise, but only if they reach the farmers, researchers, agri-dealers, extension workers and others who are building Africa’s agricultural economy.

Second, international and African governments need to build structures that funnel funds to agriculture’s private sector economic development. Funding continues to be channelled almost exclusively through public institutions.

Third, we must listen to the small-holder farmer and small agribusiness owners across Africa. They are the experts, tirelessly working to move the continent forwards.

As the dust settles on the recent G8 summit, I hope the leaders the alliance met at Camp David, and those we continue to meet on the continent, will fund their commitments and take bold actions necessary to feed future generations.
Jane Karuku is president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, which works to achieve a food-secure and prosperous continent through the promotion of sustainable agriculture based on smallholder farmers.

I hope some of this money will be allocated to water conservation! Nothing pleases me more than seeing water tanks all over, knowing that even that small little house out there in the middle of nowhere is capable of harvesting some rainwater, grows his own little vegetable patch and feeding his family.

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