Africa has 30% of the world’s natural resources and some of the best climate, rainfall and soils in the world. Africa has an abundance of arable land. Yet, 35% of the population is chronically undernourished and the whole continent of Africa only contributes 1.3% to the world’s produce – it has the same GDP as a small country like Mexico.*
In the last 50 years, Africa has received over US$ 2,000 billion of aid, yet the number of people living in poverty has increased.
While world grain production has been increasing, Africa’s production has remained stagnant.
|USA||4.5 tonnes/ha||<||10 tonnes/ha|
|ASIA||2 tonnes/ha||<||4.5 tonnes/ha|
|AFRICA||1 tonne/ha||-||1 tonne/ha|
|ZIMBABWE||1.5 tonnes/ha||>||0.5 tonnes/ha|
Why is Africa gripped by poverty and hunger? Why is the situation getting worse despite all the aid being given? With the use of traditional (European) farming methods, Africa has seen a decrease in yields and escalation of costs over many years. In a climate where rainfall is often limited to short intense periods, ploughed land is washed away and only a small amount of the available moisture is retained. Traditional methods have sought to extract from the soil without protecting it.
*Kofi Annan – World Economic Forum on Africa, February 2008