Tuesday, November 23, 2010

is it possible for africa to become the world's food basket?


Video - Africa 2010- The Redesign Of Africa's Role in the New Global Economy

NEPAD | "Without food, the medicines and drugs in hospitals and clinics become ineffective or even dangerous to the sick; without food, children cannot learn well in schools; without food, the labour force cannot be productive; without food, you cannot maintain the police service and national defence forces and without food, we cannot maintain peace keeping forces anywhere in the world", said H.E Prof. Bingu Wa Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi and Chairperson of the African Union, at the official opening session of the Conference African Ministers of Agriculture (CAMA), today 28 October 2010, in Lilongwe, Malawi.

The President indicated that agriculture accounts for about 70 percent of Africa's labour force, and contributes to over 25 percent of its Gross Domestic Product.

According to President Mutharika, the important component of the African Food Basket is the determination of the staples grown in different African countries and the creation of reliable data banks through the use of information and communication technologies. "Within each region and between various regions, we should encourage local farmers and investors from other African countries to grow any stable crops for export to countries where these are needed", he advised.

Under the theme "Delivering on Africa's Agriculture Development Agenda" the Conference was hosted by the Government of Malawi and organised by the Africa Union Commission (AUC) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency).

The 14th Ordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union declared that 'within a period of five years, Africa must be able to feed itself'. It is in this regard that Prof. Mutarika said, "the African Union decided to place highest priority on agriculture and food security as the basis for economic transformation and change within the short period of time".