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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid