News / Africa

G8 Gets Praise for Re-committing to Food Security

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

At the G8 summit this past weekend, leaders renewed their commitment to food security.  They stood by their pledge to spend (US) $22 for sustainable agriculture by 2012.

The commitment was made last year at the L’Aquila summit in Italy.  So far, about $6 billion has been allocated.

Quite delighted

Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda is CEO of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), a member of the Farming First coalition.  Farming First represents about 130 organizations worldwide.

“We are quite delighted that there was time spent on deliberating and linking to the L’Aquila agreement,” says Sibanda, speaking from Pretoria, South Africa.  “And the good thing is that at least our world leaders have agreed that accountability is the way forward.  And the Muskoka framework is a big step forward.”

The framework makes the G8 process more transparent

“For once we know what is discussed behind closed doors,” she says, “And they’ve made a commitment that by 2011 there will be a report back on food security and health, which is excellent, child health.”

The farming community around the world is pleased with the L’Aquila recommitment, according to Sibanda.

“In the past we’ve had figures that are floated and there is no follow-up.  So for us, the fact that we now have a framework that talks about the initial commitment of $22 billion – the fact that to date only $6.5 billion has been disbursed – and the commitment that by 2012 the balance will be delivered – I think it gives us something to hold onto,” she says.

How should the money be spent?

“The beauty for us in Africa is that Africa is now organized.  We now have the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Plan, which is a framework at a continental level where each of the member states has developed their investment plans prioritizing their investments,” she says.

For COMESA, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, she says, “They have prioritized infrastructure and trade and capacity development of institutions that are relevant for food security.

In West Africa, Sibanda says, “They’re looking at staples.”

Much of the G8 funds allocated to Africa have gone to the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Plan.

Food crisis recovery

Sub-Saharan Africa was hit hard when the food crisis began several years ago, and food prices on the continent remain very high, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture organization.

“What Africans have done is look inward and look at their potential,” Sibanda says, “We are well endowed with natural resources.  And Africa can feed itself and can be the breadbasket for the whole world.”

She says investment is needed in infrastructure, trade routes, technology -- “Investments that will build the human capacity that’s required for a food security region.”

“Currently,” she adds, “if you look at what we’re producing, it’s less than one-third the potential yield we can get from the staples….  And what we are missing there is really the technology to improve productivity and the trade routes that will allow the movement of food between surplus and deficit areas.”

Treat them right

To succeed, Sibanda says it’s important “to make sure our farmers have the right incentives.  What we’ve been lacking in Africa is this will to produce because there are a lot of subsidies that become a disincentive.”

The head of FANRPAN SAYS, “Farmers need to be given the dignity they deserve so that they become the producers, the backbone of the economy, and they get a decent price for their produce.  That’s what has been missing.”

At their summit, G8 leaders also voiced support for the $880 million Global Agriculture and Food Security program hosted by the World Bank, which includes such initiatives as the African Agriculture Fund.  In a statement they said, “We underline the critical importance of accountability for ensuring that these collective commitments are met.”

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid