News / Africa

Development Expert Says Africa Can be Food Self-Suffient

Kenyan-born Calestous Juma of Harvard University says Africa can feed itself in a generation if its farmers embrace modern technology

Development Expert Says Africa Can be Food Self-Suffient
Development Expert Says Africa Can be Food Self-Suffient

Multimedia

Audio
  • Kenyan-born Harvard professor Calestous Juma spoke with Butty

James Butty

A Harvard University professor said Africa can feed itself within a generation if the continent’s farmers embrace modern technology.

Kenyan-born Calestous Juma, professor of The Practice of International Development at The Kennedy School Thursday told leaders from the East African Community, meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, that African governments should also expand their infrastructure.

“Africa can feed itself in one generation and this is because of a confluence of three important factors, the first being the availability of large quantities of scientific and technical knowledge, including mobile phones, the benefits of genetic modification, new space-related technology like geographic information system (GPS). Those are technologies that were never available to Africa before, not even available to Africa’s predecessors,” he said.

Juma said the other factors that could hasten Africa’s food self-sufficiency in the next generation include the emergence of regional markets, whereby African countries can collaborate to create regional markets.

He also cited the emergence of a new generation of African leaders, who are focused on the economic transformation of the continent with emphasis on agricultural economies in rural areas.

Juma said Africa’s majority subsistence farmers can continue to play an important role in food production once the continent’s infrastructure is improved.

“Most people who rely on subsistence agriculture do so because they cannot basically move their produce to market, and one of the reasons they cannot do that is the absence of infrastructure like roads, and, if they cannot process their produce, they will only have enough to consume themselves.”

He said the availability of energy is also a crucial factor in Africa’s infrastructure.

Juma said he agrees with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report which says hunger exists around world because of the lack of enough investment in agriculture in the rural areas of Africa.

“There has been very little investment in rural Africa to stimulate agricultural development and, as a consequence, basically, people in those regions just grow enough just to feed them rather than to trade because there’s no infrastructure that allows them to trade.

He said he is confident East African leaders will come up with the right policies that will enable the region to feed itself.

“The East African leaders meeting here in Arusha will be issuing a communiqué on Friday afternoon, and that communiqué will give a clear indication of the kinds of issues they would like to pursue, the kind of programs they would like to move with, and the level of political commitment they have to those issues. But, there is no doubt in my mind that East African presidents are very determined to come up with the strategies that enable the region to feed itself,” Juma said.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid