13th Congress Proceedings
Food Security In Africa : An Agriculturalist’s Perception
The level of food security in Africa is mainly dependent on climate, poverty, national security, infrastructure and efficiency of production. Efforts at improving food security have been aimed at providing food aid which has been a disincentive to commercial producers and detracted from, the real need for their development. Aid in the form of cash to the destitute will be a far great incentive to local development, production and consequently food security. The role of commercial producers in food security has been underplayed and will contribute the major input to the three dimensions of food security, namely food supply at national and local levels, stability in supply and providing physical and economic access to food. Efforts by government who have social objectives have been ineffective at bringing subsistence farmers into commercial production. Only a few subsistence farmers want to commercialise and this will only be brought about through companies with commercial objectives. These companies will identify those with the necessary entrepreneurial spirit and assist them to settle on land with effective supports systems. The initial pilot projects indicate that with correct selection procedures based particularly on entrepreneurial spirit these emerging commercial farmers can compete extremely well with established commercial farmers. The efforts by the FAO in appreciating the realities of aid and its effect in Africa and consequently changing direction back towards rehabilitation and development is acknowledged.