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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5374
Vol. 12, No. 3, 2012
Bioline Code: nd12043
Full paper language: English
Document type: Reprinted Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 12, No. 3, 2012

 en Food Security: A Mapping of European Approaches
Gaus, Alexander

Abstract

With less than four years to go, the world remains way off track in fulfilling one of the primary promises made by governments a decade ago when they agreed to the Millennium Development Goals: To halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015.

The region with the highest share of food insecurity and the lowest rank on agricultural production globally is Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite economic growth in countries such as Angola, Nigeria and Ghana, agriculture is a sector hugely neglected for decades across Africa. Economies of scale hardly exist due to low levels of mechanization, fertilizer use and processing of raw materials. Instead, smallholder farmers are the backbone of the agricultural sector and the backbone of African food security. Yet it is almost impossible for these smallholder farmers to fulfill this role given the virtual absence of market integration and investment from the public and private sectors in rural economies. As a result, 300 million rural people in Africa struggle to feed themselves and their families. Aggravated by the impacts of climate change and increasing foreign investments in arable land neglecting the rights and needs of the poor, the food crisis felt across Africa will grow with every year of inaction.

What are European donors doing to support lasting solutions to the hunger crisis felt in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa? This report provides a mapping and comparison of the policies and activities of the most important European donors addressing food insecurity. Going beyond the European Commission, the study looks at France, Germany and the United Kingdom as well. It seeks to provide a first set of answers on how they could improve their policies and their coordination to develop complementary approaches and thus increase their impact in the fight against hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report is based on a focused review of policy documents, an analysis of financial flows of the main European donors and interviews with donor representatives, scholars and experts from non-governmental organizations.

 
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