Kenya this week received a donation of 30 000 bags of rice from China, part of 11 000 tonnes pledged by Beijing in June, to help people affected by drought.
East Africa’s biggest and most advanced economy relying on aid to feed itself may sound surprising, but the need is very real. An estimated 2,5 million Kenyans are currently facing starvation, almost a million more than in May, fuelled by drought. The underlying problem is a failing agriculture sector. Kenya’s reliance on external markets is growing, having already spent a billion dollars on food imports this year. The country is not alone. Food security across Africa is deteriorating, despite much lofty rhetoric about an agricultural revolution in recent years.
From the Sahel to the Horn of Africa — two of many examples — hunger is on the up. Africa accounts for 31 of a total of 821 million people suffering from hunger globally, with 20 percent of its population now estimated to be malnourished. The continent’s $35 billion a year food import bill is expected to hit $110 billion by 2025, while average government spending on agriculture has fallen from 3,66 percent in 2001 to 2,3 percent in 2017.
On the Global Hunger Index all but four sub-Saharan African countries are experiencing serious or alarming severity levels. Let’s face it — African agriculture is in crisis. — Nurmara Daily Brief.