Editor's PicksOpinion

With 60% of world’s arable land, hunger is not an option in Africa

By Alex Gathii

With 1.4 billion people, Africa has less than 20% of world’s 8 billion people. Africa has 60% world’s arable land but its people suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition.

Africa imports over $40 billion worth of food annually. Kenya’s food import bill hit $2 billion for first 6 months of this year.

About 250 million people in Africa are hungry, possibly very angry and this may lead to many conflicts.. A hungry person has low self-esteem, low dignity and has little regard to rule of law and life.

Africa has the largest minerals deposits in the world. It’s either we work on our arable land productively and profitably or we get value for our minerals and become a net importer of food in the world.

Hunger is not an option, as a people, let’s retain our human dignity and self-esteem and pride.

Let the political class, the ruling elite and the private sector in Africa take the hunger issue in Africa as a security issue and moral obligation..

No one in Africa should go hungry while we lose 40% of what we produce to post-harvest losses.

While one part of an African country has abundance, other parts are suffering deficiencies and extreme hunger. Why can’t African Governments and respective private sector players put up pro-poor programs for distribution of the 40% post- harvest losses; cereals, fruits, Vegetables and milk?

No one in Africa should go hungry in the 21st century. Let’s realize the African Dream coined by our founding fathers of Pan Africanism. It is possible, let’s be our brother’s keeper.

The writer is the Managing Director, Tanolope Consultancy Limited based in Nairobi, Kenya. www.tanolope.com

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