The African leaders that gathered in Addis Ababa in January to declare 2014 as the year of agriculture was meant to electrify their countries’ commitment to this goal. The objective was to consolidate active commitments toward new priorities, strategies and targets for achieving results and impacts, with special focus on sustained, all Africa agriculture-led growth, propelled by stronger, private sector investment and public-private partnerships. This also marked the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme. It was an important milestone and an opportunity to continue to prioritise agriculture and food security in policy and implementation to generate concrete results and impacts.
However, many issues that lie outside agriculture have begun to gain prominence and have been inextricably linked with the sector. Africa is a continent that is well endowed in human and natural resources but it has failed to tap into some of these sectors that can have an impact on agriculture. For example, Africa is a continent who’s scientific and technological mindset and aspirations have often been inadequate in transforming our agricultural sector. Some of these issues have to be revisited in order to attain food security.
For many food security optimists on the continent, what has been so manifest in the past decades has been a lack of appetite of various actors in the effective implementation of agricultural programmes and policies. This is perhaps one of the biggest challenges that have deliberately embarked on a slow but painful assassination of our agricultural sector. There is need to reverse and resolve such trends if we are to achieve the food security drive.
In many ways, an important pointer towards the attainment of food security is defined by the level of political commitment and the ability of a country to set a very clear vision. This will vie for the establishment of a conducive environment through policies, legislation and other kinds of higher level strategic elements for food security. The second key aspect for attaining food security is the availability of appropriate technologies. Africa has to have the right technologies to boost its agricultural production and productivity.
We therefore call for an urgent review of the concept of food security to include other issues that will complement the capacity of countries and establish the relevance of the existence of the concept in the first place.
We urge countries to enthrone their stakeholders at the helm of food security issues with a redirected and reoriented vision. This will end the present hunt of food insecurity which seems to have become a needle stuck on the neck of the continent.
And whiles we consider the continent we should also remember that at home here in the Gambia, the population is growing exponentially and the needs and wants of the people are increasing too. The other nations that export food and other needs are also experiencing a rapid increase in population growth, so in other to meet the needs of their rapidly growing populace, they must needs be, cut down their exportation. Faced with such impending crisis, the bell is ringing clearly to wake the nation up and brace towards increment in investing in our own local industries.
We have the capacity to feed ourselves and we have the means to even export to neighboring countries. What is needed is the investment and dedication. With these goals and aims we will get to achieve the most coveted goals of modern Africa.]]>