Experts in food nutrition and knowledge management are saying that Africa is dependent on agriculture for its economic sustainability, hence there is need to ensure that the sector thrives.
The Director of the Regional Centre against Hunger and Malnutrition (CERFAM) based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Patrick Texeira, Texeira avers that knowledge generation, sharing and overall, knowledge Management is key to Africa’s development.
He says that Africa has a plethora of good practices and innovations that have generated good results in addressing food insecurity and malnutrition, hence the need to make good practices readily available and accessible through their identification, documentation, replication, so as to create greater impact on agricultural development, food security and nutrition
Texeira notes that if the agriculture sector on the continent thrives it is two to four times more effective in the reduction of poverty, in comparison to other sectors.
“It is unfortunate, the continent is not on the right track to achieving goals of Agenda 2063, the Malabo Declaration, or the Sustainable Development (SDG) agenda,” he says and adds, “in fact projections by the UN, indicate that Africa will not be able to feed 60% of its population by 2025,” he adds, yet the agricultural economy is the main source of income for more than 33 million smallholder farmers in Africa.
Texeira says smallholder farmers mostly produce the staple food crops, “and even though, producing nearly 70% of the global food supply, they are amongst those left the most food insecure,” he told the 18th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme Partnership Platform (CAADP PP) held via webinar.
While noting that on average, growth in the agriculture sector has shown to be two to four times more effective in the reduction of poverty, in comparison to other sectors, Texeira said that there is need for “the transformative power of knowledge management to leverage agriculture and food systems good practices and evidence-based solutions to end hunger and malnutrition in Africa.”
In his presentation, “The transformative power of Knowledge Management to leverage Agriculture and Food Systems good practices and evidence-based solutions to end hunger and malnutrition in Africa” Texeira said that knowledge management can support the achievement of CAADP as well as the Malabo Policy Learning Event (MAPLE) commitment.
This he said is through the promotion of good practices by offering a space to create synergies with partners from other sectors, and, by presenting digital platforms which can support identification, dissemination, replication, and scaling-up of these good practices.
The head of CERFAM which is Africa's leading hub for promoting good practices to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, noted that knowledge management can create an enabling environment for nutrition-sensitive-agricultural activities and investment within the food-system, so as to improve food security and nutrition in Africa.
While agriculture sector has shown to be two to four times more effective in the reduction of poverty, in comparison to other sectors, unfortunately, the continent is not on the right track to achieving goals of Agenda 2063, the Malabo Declaration, or the Sustainable Development (SDG) agenda.
" In fact projections by the UN, indicate that Africa will not be able to feed 60pc of its population by 2025,” he adds.
He notes that the causes of hunger and malnutrition on the continent are not only due to lack of access to the right quantities but also the lack of access to quality food.
“It is not only a question of increasing food production to ensure food security, but equally important is the types of foods consumed and the micronutrients they bear, so to also ensure nutrition security,” he advises.
He is calling for agricultural transformation in order to provide food, that is affordable, nutritious, healthy, and of quality, “thus providing food and nutrition security,” hence the need to design policies that are nutrition-sensitive.