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Balancing food security and trade

Continuing with this theme, posted an article, “EU’s food imports pose ‘tricky balance’ for hungry Africans,” which discusses the difficulty of creating economic development and food security throughout Africa. A drought that hit East Africa in 2011 exposed this difficulty as European markets had plentiful supplies of African agricultural exports. In fact, the EU imports 40% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural exports. 

The south-north food flow has created willing foreign markets for African farmers, while home-grown goods aren’t getting to other Africans who are surviving on international relief aid flown in during food shortages. Experts point to the fact that it is easier to fly or ship African goods to Europe than to trade regionally due to poor transportation connections, high tariffs, security barriers and primitive information-sharing on market needs.

With nearly half of the more than 800 million Sub-Saharan Africans living below the UN’s poverty line of less than $1.25 per day, farming is seen as a way to create jobs, feed a growing population, while also providing lucrative exports of food and biofuel crops. When you factor in the uncertainty that climate change brings toward agriculture, however, there is great debate about how to achieve economic development and regional food security.

To read the full article, click here.

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