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Natural resource management, food security, biofuels and sustainable agriculture Olanrewaju Smith International Trypanotolerance Centre, Banjul The Gambia.

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Presentation on theme: "Natural resource management, food security, biofuels and sustainable agriculture Olanrewaju Smith International Trypanotolerance Centre, Banjul The Gambia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Natural resource management, food security, biofuels and sustainable agriculture Olanrewaju Smith International Trypanotolerance Centre, Banjul The Gambia

2 Natural resource management, food security, biofuels and sustainable agriculture Raise some questions & discussion points Are there lessons to be learnt with regards to their current situation in Africa Can these be used to improve their impact on sustainable development or green economy

3 Food security Is Africa food secure? No access at all times to the food needed for a healthy and productive life Not protected from the risks of malnutrition, chronic or acute hunger and starvation, and famine.

4 Food security 800 million people (including 200 million children) considered malnourished 190 million i.e. about 35% live in SSA. 27 % of children under 5 were reported underweight in % in A minimal progress Rise in prevalence in some countries

5 Food security Hunger and malnutrition are consequences and indicators of poverty These statistics are reflected in the slow progress towards meeting Millennium Development Goal number 1 Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.

6 Food security Target number 1A Reduce by half, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 a day Proportion decreased slightly from 58% in 1990 to 52.5% in 2008, A number of countries may not reach the target of 29% by 2015

7 Food security Trend is not more encouraging with regards to target number 1C Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger A slight decline from 25.3 in 1990 to 21.7% in 2010 (Global Hunger index) Based on this trend, it is projected some countries will miss the target

8 Food security Question: Do we have a clue as to what to do to rectify this situation? Yes we do. 2 illustrative examples for lesson learning. What needs to be done to improve the performance of the sector and consequently the food security status in Africa

9 Food security The fire fighter approach A 2-year EU funded project in Burundi Implemented by FAO & the Government Goal: Boost production and improve food security of at least 7,000 rice-growing households in 2 provinces following the 2008 food price crisis.

10 Food security The fire fighter approach Priority Intervention Areas a) Improve water resources infrastructure and water use efficiency for agriculture Activity: Rehabilitate drainage and canal networks in the project sites. Outputs: 3,500 ha of land were irrigated

11 Food security The fire fighter approach Outcome: Increased rice production and income for 10,000 vulnerable local people particularly during the dry season when money-making opportunities are usually limited.

12 Food security The fire fighter approach b) Improve farmers access to quality inputs Activities: Fertilizer and certified quality rice, vegetables, ground nuts and soya beans were provided for diversification. Cattle provided for tillage Storage facilities built

13 Food security The fire fighter approach Outputs: Diversified and increased food production Outcome: More variety of foods produced including protein source to improve nutrition Reduced product spoilage, increased income

14 Food security The fire fighter approach c) Strengthen the production capacity of farmers groups Activity: Training of farmers groups in improved farming techniques Outputs and outcomes Enhanced farmers competence and productivity.

15 Food security The longer term project based approach. AGRA INITIAITVE Goal: Transform African agriculture from a subsistence to a business venture Produces efficiently, generates income and wealth for producers.

16 Food security The longer term project based approach. AGRA INITIAITVE Goal: Transform African agriculture from a subsistence to a business venture Produces efficiently, generates income and wealth for producers.

17 Food security The longer term project based approach. Beneficiaries: Small scale producers Premise: Access to a variety of inputs must be guaranteed, to successfully transform them to business oriented producers. Access to affordable finance (credit)

18 Food security The longer term project based approach. In association with partners, it provides loan guarantees to reduce risks of lending by banks Banks then gives low-interest loans to smallholder farmers To agro-dealers, to small- and medium-sized agricultural businesses that support small- scale agriculture.

19 Food security The longer term project based approach. Tanzania (2008) US$2.1 million loan guarantee fund established by AGRA/ Financial Sector Deepening Trust Secured a US$10 million line of credit from the National Microfinance Bank (NMB) NMB then lends to agro-dealers at interest rates of 18% (46% typical) More than US$1.5 million in loans to agro-dealers by 2009.

20 Food security The longer term project based approach. Kenya (2008). AGRA/IFAD provided US$2.5 million each as a loan guarantee Leveraged US$50 million from Equity Bank. By May 2009, the program had loaned US$9.8 million to 20,408 beneficiaries. Of which 19,931 were small-scale farmers; 337 are large-scale; and 140 were agribusinesses.

21 Food security The longer term project based approach. For the future: AGRA intends to mobilize US$4 billion in affordable loans for Africas smallholder farmers and the businesses that serve them.

22 Lesson learning Improve low soil fertility (75% of African soils are depleted) Intractable land issues: access and/or ownership especially for women must be addressed (Land grab phenomenon) Limited access to good quality seeds of local staple crops Replace anachronistic rain-fed with year round agriculture

23 Lesson learning Support to farmers in various forms. Infrastructural : feeder roads to move products to markets Access to available and appropriate technology through a vibrant and competent extension Or to new ones via well-funded research institutions.

24 Lesson learning Access to credit, fertilizers and other inputs Direct policy support and in particular, subsidies (smart ones if you wish) And affirmative action for women farmers.

25 Lesson learning Not new ideas Currently being carried out in a stop and go project or crisis management manner Need to become business as usual affairs, the normal way

26 Lesson learning Implemented in a sustained and sustainable manner For the long haul With or without projects and funding from outside

27 Lesson learning The good news: Through CAADP African countries are gearing up to support the agriculture sector They have to stay the course Burrow, beg or steal the resources required for the implementation of the various compacts They are too important to leave their implementation to the funds and good will of partners.

28 Sustainable Agriculture What is sustainable Agriculture (SA) As many opinions as there are commentators Brundtland Panel SA system manages essential resources so as to satisfy the needs of all people presently dependent on it, without compromising the needs of future generations.

29 Sustainable Agriculture ICSU reviewed several publications and concluded it is unhelpful to propose any particular production systems as sustainable in all ecologies, locations and societies. No specific system is suitable and sustainable in all circumstances

30 Sustainable Agriculture SA is not low input agriculture in which no chemical inputs are used. This approach cannot restore or maintain level of soil fertility required to feed an ever increasing African population.

31 Sustainable Agriculture Agriculture cannot be considered sustainable if the quantity and quality of its products are inadequate to sustain the healthy survival of all who are dependent on it. (Hulse 2007) SA is a dynamic process that evolves to meet present needs. Fallow/shifting cultivation

32 Sustainable Agriculture The need to conserve biodiversity, arable land and water resources is undeniable, but no known crop or livestock production system is sustainable in all places and for all people (Hulse 2007) No one size fits all

33 Sustainable Agriculture Africa therefore needs to continue to develop and use appropriate agricultural systems whose production and productivity levels consistently meet the needs of a growing and diversified population.


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