The Covid-19 pandemic is straining food systems in Africa with potentially destructive consequences. To develop true resilience and food sovereignty on the continent, there needs to be a greater transition towards sustainable farming methods and greater diversity in our food supply. If you are interested in food production in Africa, this article offers 03 strategies to strengthen food systems on the continent. Read it to the end.
A worrying inventory
Before getting to the heart of the matter, let's start with a simple overview of the current situation. Let's go!
International trade with a cold
Over the past three decades, food systems have gone global growing and trade in agricultural products amounts to $ 1.6 billion per year, or about 10% of total world trade. The current health and economic crisis combined has changed our daily lives. Food supplies in this case the imports of many foodstuffs have become very complicated due to restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus both nationally and internationally.
The Suffering Food Supply in Africa
Traditional agricultural supply chains in Africa are hit hard. In Benin, agriculture is mainly traditional and for the most part consists of family farms. As in many countries, the prices of some commodities have increased due to the scarcity of food production in Africa due to the health crisis. In addition, other foodstuffs have rotted for lack of sales on the market.
Agroecology remains a precious sesame
Resilience through agroecology
In recent years, as the impacts of climate change became impossible to ignore, many farmers in our African countries were already working to improve the resilience of their farms. Their goal is to produce food in a way that is more respectful of the environment and society. Resilience has borne fruit in the current pandemic crisis for these farmers who understood and started very early on in food production in Africa that respects the environment. Local farmers who already made use of this type of agriculture have seen demand for their produce skyrocket in recent weeks. Consumers have started to abandon supermarkets for more local options.
Why urgently reorient yourself towards agroecology
A sustainable solution to this failing food system lies in agroecology. Indeed, it makes it possible to adopt a holistic approach to agriculture that takes into account natural ecosystems and local knowledge. She turned out to be the right answer because of her better ability to recover from extreme weather events, such as droughts or floods, the frequency of which is increasing due to climate change. In addition, agroecology promotes greater socio-economic resilience by diversifying the range of crops and reducing dependence on external inputs. It will allow food production in Africa that is healthier and respectful of the environment.
Political will, the real basis for the emergence of agroecology
To achieve a truly resilient food system for future generations, there is a need to shift more towards sustainable farming methods. Governments should actively support small and medium-sized enterprises that provide market access routes for small farmers and work on infrastructure development to relocate supply chains. Such political will will have the advantage of officially recognizing the saving nature of ecological agriculture by the various actors and devoting adequate resources to it. Achieving food production in Africa in quantity and of better quality is the challenge today. The sooner we get down to it, the better off future generations will be.
Consumers and Food Production in Africa
Consumers also have a big role in this process. They need to reconnect to their food sources and better understand the hard work that food production actors put in. By supporting local small businesses and purchasing sustainably produced food, we can all build a more resilient and healthier future for our citizens and for the planet. Once the crisis is over, the challenge will be to adapt our food systems and step up our efforts according to our individual and collective responsibilities.
Covid-19 will not be the last crisis our food system faces. Let's start the change now and let's all embrace agroecology for healthy and strong food production in Africa. Did you like this article ? Share it and leave us your impressions in the comments. Subscribe to our blog so as not to miss any of our next news.
A curious, motivated and determined young leader, Obed Kodjo is an agronomist and blogger who is active in organizations that advocate the awareness and development of African youth. Innovation is his passion and for this he never ceases to cultivate himself in order to make a difference in his actions. He dreams of a conscious Africa that solves its problems on its own without outside help.