Finding business solutions to tackle hunger and undernutrition in sub-Saharan Africa continues to sit at the top of the global political agenda. We have seen firsthand the power that providing enterprise skills and market access can have in empowering smallholder farmers to boost their production, improve their nutrition and increase their incomes – when managed effectively and coupled with appropriate safety nets.
As the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015, it will be important to set new goals that prioritise poverty and hunger eradication. Governments, donors, businesses, scientists and development practitioners alike should work together to help African smallholder farmers better access markets, as a way of increasing productivity, nutrition and incomes, and to ensure that they are sufficiently safeguarded from the risks of doing so. This joint action will need to be supported by a new set of policy and financial commitments.
In sub-Saharan Africa today, over 200 million people go hungry and 40% of children under age five are stunted due to malnutrition. By 2050, the population is set to almost double to two billion people, yet current food production systems would only be able to meet 13% of this increased demand. But, under the surface lies an agricultural sector full of promise: potentially enough land and water resources, a young rural workforce and booming trade opportunities intra-regionally and beyond.
This book has contributions from ACDI/VOCA; Farm Africa; Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN); One Acre Fund; Self Help Africa; SNV Netherlands Development Organisation; TechnoServe; Twin and Twin Trading