Mandivamba Rukuni


Of the more than one billion undernourished people in the world the majority are in developing countries with Africa at over 200 million. Consumers in high-income countries and transitional economies in South and East Asia are choosing to spend their additional income on some combination of increased quality, convenience, and variety of foods. Food delivery systems and consumption patterns in middle-income countries like China and Thailand are converging with those of higher income countries. Income growth is a primary force behind converging global consumption patterns, but globalization of the food industry is also contributing (IRIN, 2009, FAO, 2009). The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide all at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day (FAO, 2002). Current world food price increases are allied with diminishing food stocks and difficulties in accessing food by some communities particularly in Africa. This is driven by a number of factors that include: oil prices; demand for higher input food; decreasing food stocks; climate change and environmental degradation; growing use of bio fuels; inelastic food production markets; population growth; and stock markets trends. Proposed solutions to this crisis are a combination of: increasing food supply through greater public sector budget support and investment in agriculture and policy reforms; institutional and governance capacity including addressing the climate change issue; and realigning the role of international trade (export, input and food aid) with sustainable development strategies. The root cause of Africa’s ongoing food insecurity is the lack of investment in agricultural production. Whilst food aid has been increasing, aid for agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa dropped by 43 percent in the 1990s.


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