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

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid