Africa must cut reliance on food imports, says Nigerian billionaire
The World Food Programme last week declared that the world needs to significantly reduce its reliance on food imports to tackle climate change by 2020, but an ambitious goal may prove impossible.
In his address at the 2013 World Food Summit in Rome, Prince Ali Adefope, the son of the former Nigerian president, called on world leaders to commit to a dramatic shift in the global food supply, as he warned climate change could cause havoc beyond the region.
“The food that we have is a part of a larger issue. If the world doesn’t act at the time of hunger in Africa, it is going to get to worse by the time it ends hunger in Africa. This is a global issue… we have got to act now to feed millions of people who are going to be hungry in the future,” Prince Ali Adefope urged.
The World Food Programme last week declared that the world needs to significantly reduce its dependence on food imports to tackle climate change by 2020. The UN agency said food security must be improved in a wide variety of ways, including improved water supplies and management of land, including small-scale farming.
An important component of food security is access to safe water, and the issue of land tenure is a major driver of food poverty. In addition, access to land is one reason why people cannot make a living wage from small-scale farming. For many Nigerians, the most basic survival challenge in the midst of the global food crisis is to secure the right to access land in order to cultivate vegetables, fruit and flowers.
“It is no longer sustainable to keep feeding the world from the land that has been captured from the people, but rather from the land that is being captured by the people,” Prince Ali Adefope said.
“The food that we have is a part of a larger issue. If the world doesn’t act at the time of hunger in Africa, it is going to get to worse by the time it ends hunger in Africa.”
The Nigerian president noted his government is working on a land reform model that calls