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Food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa
Transcript of Food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa
Food insecurity is when people do not have the availability of or access to an adequate and safe food intake, one of sufficient nutritional value to lead a healthy life .
What is the problem?
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 Devereux, S., & Sussex, I. (2000). Food insecurity in Ethiopia. Retrieved from http://www.addisvoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/FoodSecEthiopia4.pdf
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Security in the future...
While many countries, mainly in Asia, have had significant declines in food insecurity number's over the past two decades;
the population experiencing food insecurity in Africa has grown
by almost 37%, from 175 million people to 239 million .
These issues will be explored throughout this poster, highlighting the interrelated problem that exists and therefore the
required to solve the complex challenge of food security.
Food insecurity is a complex issue enhanced by scientific, political, social and economic circumstances. In this poster, 6 key issues are developed in relation to food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa.
It is important to address food insecurity as to allow everyone an equal quality of life and a chance for a sustainable future.
Climate Change Hurts
A Growing Problem
The Cycle of Conflict
Poor Process, Poor Product
A Barren Future
A Failing Industry
In 2007 the world experienced public riots and protests over the food security issue, with seven of the vastly affected countries being in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Extreme weather events
have said to be one of the main contributor’s to the food security issue in SSA, with significant drought and floods
affecting people’s livelihood and access to food
SSA is an
region and is becoming increasingly defenceless against the lack of rainfall in recent years.
For the third time in ten years, drought is raging through the areas of SSA resulting in famine and wide spread poverty.
Those living in North-West Africa are experiencing the
worst drought since 1914
, with the drought making these areas arid and
unsustainable to live in
. The current famine in these areas is suspected to become much worse with a growing number of people struggling to cope.
More than 18 million people face food insecurity and one million children under the age of five are at risk of malnutrition .
is leading to poor agricultural harvests and in worst case,
no harvest at all
. Grain production was down 36% from 2011-2012 and 20% lower than the average of the previous five years.
In areas of the Sahel, the majority of people
depend on the crops they grow for survival
, both for food and an income. The extreme drought and lack of rainfall is impacting heavily upon the crop production and therefore the people’s livelihood, furthering the food insecurity problem .
From one extreme to the next, in 2007 West African countries, such as Togo, experienced the
worst floods in ten years.
The floods affected people from the East to the West with an estimate of 1.5 Million people in 18 countries being affected .
Due to the
, crops were destroyed and people were forced to evacuate their homes . In Togo alone there were
60,000 people in need of urgent food assistance.
The heavy rainfall washed away land, over 30 thousand houses and six dams . To make matters worse for the sufferer’s of this horrible weather occurrence the government had stated that they could feed all the victims but only for two months.
extreme weather conditions
that plague SSA in conjunction with local circumstances
perpetuate food insecurity
throughout the region.
Extreme weather occurrences further the food insecurity problem in SSA, through both flood and drought adversely affecting food production, distribution, as well as future agricultural pursuits.
As the population of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) grows, the amount of food required to adequately feed its' people increases, adversely impacting food security. As of March 2012, 240 million people in SSA lacked access to healthy and nutritious food; which is 1 in 4 people. The
of SSA is projected to more than double from 856 million to approximately
2 billion in 2050
, experiencing a growth of approximately 1.2% per year . With this growth,
food insecurity will undoubtedly increase.
lack of education
in family planning, and the
that inhibit contraceptive regimes, are both causes of an
unusually high population growth
The world average
ratio of mother to child
is 1 is to 2.5, however in SSA this is almost double, with women having
5.1 children on average
This obscure population growth that creates the foundation for higher growth rates, affected by many factors, creates an
imbalance between consumption and production
, subsequently burdening the food security in the region.
From 1993-2003, Africa’s rate of population
its rate of
It is proposed that the region’s agricultural production has to increase by at least 4-6% per annum to meet the food requirements of a rapidly growing population .
Due to this lack of access and availability, regardless of the fact that
not all the food
produced in SSA is actually
for local consumption
, food insecurity continues to be an issue in the region.
An example of this increase in food production is that the
, a break in cultivation used to restore soil fertility to farmland, has been increasingly
replaced by permanent cultivation
systems to meet the food demand of a rising population .
Over time, this degrades the soil quality by not providing time for nutritional recuperation. Ultimately, due to the
rise in population
and the consequent increase in cultivation systems, the food produced is of
lower nutritional value
, negatively impacting food security .
The increase in population growth also increases the
demand for protein
, a nutrient accessed through livestock. To provide both dairy and meat there is
to increase the productivity of the livestock industry, which takes place in drought prone areas, with
limited available pastures for grazing
This increased pressure causes
to be used for cattle feed and
not for human consumption
, therefore negatively impacting upon food production and
further inhibiting food security
in the region .
Food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is
a multifaceted issue
with many underlying causes.
One such cause is conflict
. The sub-Saharan countries of
were responsible for
88% of the total global conflict death toll
between 1990 and 2007. There are two forms of conflict present in SSA, being either civil or violent conflict.
Having a broad definition, conflict can usually be viewed as a process of multiple interactions where people have irreconcilable views of facts, goals, methods or values and also sense interferences from one another in the realisation of valued outcomes .
Civil conflict and violent conflict both inflict
on a society. Not only are many lives of the African people lost, but there are also negative consequences leading to
health and social disintegration
such as roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and public buildings are
and often mines are laid which subsequently halts any infrastructure development and reconstruction .
such as diamonds, gold, oil and agricultural crops are
by those leading the conflict and generally use these resources to fund further exploits .
The devastation of resources force the
displacement of people
and disrupt transportations/market transactions, negating the economical capacity of sub-Saharan African countries and ultimately forming conditions for
poverty and famine
What then, can be the gain of those who instigate these conflicts? Economists have formed a rational choice model on which they base their analysis of conflict that if the expected gains from violent conflict exceed the costs, then individuals will choose to take up arms or support the insurrection .
Through this model, a nuanced relationship between food insecurity and conflict can surface.
Conflicts in SSA tend to occur in regions suffering from chronic famine. Food insecurity and
in armed conflicts. The
offered of food, shelter and economic resources somewhat
to join the rebel movements in the hope of a better future .
civil and violent conflicts
entrench food insecurity
into the region even further.
Acute food insecurity and conflict in SSA is interlinked in a
. On the one hand, food insecurity can be the motivation for individuals to join conflict fractions; but on the other, food insecurity is a direct result of such conflicts . Improving food security thus seems to be the solution to conflict by contributing to more stable environments.
of food insecurity and conflict can be
of food security and stability, which can ultimately rebuild the conflict-prone sub-Saharan African countries.
, which has a tropical monsoon climate, is the second most populated sub-Saharan African country with a population of approximately 91.7 million as at 2012 .
of the population
relies on agriculture as the source of income
, where the country continually faces
food insecurity due
to the country’s
struggling agricultural sector
of food security in Ethiopia specifically . The food consumption rate is higher than the food production rate, even in times of high precipitation.
and variability in rainfall, and with this being a prominent issue in Ethiopia, agriculture suffers.
in number; approximately 2% of the country’s arable land is irrigated .
This, together with extensive
; low levels of fertiliser use; and the crops’
susceptibility to diseases
and pests; has resulted in a
low performing agricultural sector
since the 1960’s .
Also, due to
, there has been a
change and various changing impacts on agriculture, resulting in
Low food production in Ethiopia and places alike in sub-Saharan Africa, is also driven by the increase in
shift of dependence
and reliance on this source of nutrition has meant that
in Ethiopia has significantly
Another driver of the struggling agricultural sector is the
lack of education
in effective farming practices. Most rural farmers practice
, depending purely on rainfall .
These traditional methods of farming lead to
insecure food availability
due to the climatic conditions and lack of rain, affecting soil fertility etc. This lack of education in effective contemporary farming practices is
limiting the ability
for Ethiopia to
achieve food security
The effect of food aid as well as ineffective farming practices, in response to a growing population and climate change, both significantly impact upon the
in Ethiopia and countries alike, therefore
impeding food secure circumstances
Poor food distribution in sub-Saharan Africa is an alarming issue with transportation of food, storage of food, and the expense of purchasing and producing foods being significant contributing factors.
is hindering the accessibility of food to rural areas due to the
lack of quality infrastructure
between the agricultural land and selling point. Roads are usually poorly maintained due to the lack of public funding and maintenance, which is ultimately
delaying the distribution of goods
While the physical transport is one problem, the transportation practice also leads to
. Due to the
lack of proper storage
and the extensive
, the produce becomes susceptible to bacteria. This leads to
contamination of the food
, causing it to become
for human consumption and creating
raises the cost
of produce resulting unaffordable food furthering the
issue in the region.
farmers fail to generate an adequate return on their crops while also experiencing a
lack of support
from government . This makes it extremely
for the sub-Saharan population to
earn a sustainable income
to produce and buy essential needs
Concerns about food security in Africa are triggering the government to implement long-term sustainable strategies to guarantee adequate food supply for the population .
rise in the price
of staple foods is having serious effects on consumer households as well as becoming a
desperate political issue
Food accounts for 50-70% of house hold budgets and with the increase of the four main staples of rice, wheat, maize and cassava being imported,
consumers are being forced into poverty
Food distribution is a
largely impacting the accessibility, cost and quality of produce needed in the suffering regions of sub-Saharan Africa.
 Mburia, R. (2011, December 20). Food Security in Sub Saharan Africa. Retrieved March 29, 2013, from http://www.climateemergencyinstitute.com/food_sec_subsaharan_mburia.html
 National Science Foundation (2009, April 17). Mega-droughts In Sub-Saharan Africa Normal For Region: Droughts Likely To Worsen With Climate Change -- ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2014, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090416144520.htm
 Khawaja , M. (2012, August 7). Drought in Sub-Saharan Africa puts millions of lives at risk. Retrieved March 30, 2014, from http://www.arabiangazette.com/sub-saharan-drought-risk/
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 Ramin, B. (2009). WHO | Slums, climate change and human health in sub-Saharan Africa. Retrieved April 2, 2014, from http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/87/12/09-073445/en/
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Deforestation has a
on food security in sub-Saharan Africa through both it’s effects on
, as well as the
resulting use of deforested land
. While deforestation is highest in the East, West and South regions, this effect is strongly felt in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where deforestation is still high at a forest loss of ~0.16% per year .
Climate change is one of the main impacts of deforestation due to
the release of carbon
. These forest areas are known as carbon pools and their
carbon stock is released
into the atmosphere causing an
imbalance in the carbon cycle
in relation to carbon dioxide . The increase in carbon emissions contributes to
climate and weather changes
specific to the deforested region.
One simulation experiment saw a strong relation between rainfall and deforestation. Deforested regions showed a 2-3mm reduction on annual average rainfall against ‘untouched’ regions . This
reduction in rainfall
is not only a
where the deforested region was most likely replaced by agricultural land, as well as the surrounding crops; but also is therefore a driver of
also disturbs the nutrient balance in the soil, further
degrading the fertility of the soil
for future desired uses .
and lack of rain results in land
unsuitable for agriculture
. The climate change and variability notably
upon the landholder’s
; further enhancing the food insecurity problem in the region .
Food production however, isn’t always the cause for deforestation.
Climate change & Land degradation
is a key cause of deforestation and it is not for local food consumption or housing; one study shows that urbanisation in the DRC has caused a
to the production of
of the circumstances of
that many small landholder’s face is of
to food security in many regions. These
aren’t for local consumption
as due to economic pressure,
prices are too high
and therefore wouldn’t be of economic gain for the landholder’s.
Although there has been an
in the area and so where
have been produced, they
cannot necessarily be manufactured
into products for purchase .
This myriad of factors has led to the production of
purely for the
gain of external corporations and export
from the country, leading to
further food insecurity
suitable for productive agriculture is being
and for the betterment of external parties,
not for the local people
who are suffering the most .
is not only a key contributor to local
climatic and weather changes
impacting upon the suitability of the land for food production, however is also found to be determined by landholder’s need to
produce cash crops
Both of these are factors which significantly impact upon a nation’s ability to ensure food security for all, and are why
strategies in limiting deforestation
and potentially reforesting certain regions would be a
undertaking for the betterment of the local communities, and
the overall food security
of sub-Saharan Africa.
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 Nhema, A. G., & Zeleza, P. T. (2008). The roots of African conflicts: The causes & costs. Oxford, England: James Currey Ltd.
 Moradi, Alexander. (2004). Have Gun, Give Food: Agriculture, Nutrition, and Civil Wars in Sub-Saharan Africa. Paper presented at the United Nations University – World Institute of Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) Conference on ‘Making Peace Work’, Helsinki, 4-5 June. Retrieved from http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Funi-tuebingen.de%2Funi%2Fwwl%2FHave%2520Gun%2520Give%2520Food.pdf&ei=GyA-U8WsAYbxkAWavYDgBA&usg=AFQjCNHNUi-hzxfdYhxO3d7JRQBeUYhgaw&bvm=bv.64125504,d.dGI
 World Bank (2011). World development report 2011: Conflict, security, and development.
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 Hendrix, C., & Brinkman, H. (2013). Food Insecurity and Conflict Dynamics: Causal Linkages and Complex Feedbacks. Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, 2(2). Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/sta.bm
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 Hillocks, R. (2011). Farming for a balanced nutrition. Journal of An agricultural approach to addressing micronutrient deficiency among the vulnerable poor in Africa, 11(2), 4866- 4707. Retrieved from http://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajfand/article/view/65922/53626
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Food insecurity is being further entrenched by a myriad of complex, interrelating factors as outlined.
It can be seen without significant reform in all these areas and taking on a multi-disciplinary approach when developing solutions for this grand challenge, that only small progressions will be made .
While small steps may be good in the short-term, in the grand scheme of this intricate problem effective solutions need to be long-term and future-based because the need is ever-growing, exponentially in fact .
Every person must be accounted for and every person is a reason to find more effective, sustainable solutions; as it is food security that is the basic human right of every person on this finite planet, the one thing every human needs, food .
Specifically in sub-Saharan Africa, while there had been previous progress in the prevalence of food insecurity, in recent years since 2007 the prevalence has been increasing at 2% per year .
Ben English, Marisa Kuhlewein, Senait Negassi, Courtney Daniec, Gray Horsfall, Madeleine MacDonald
90% of population survive on less than US$2 per day
Ending in 2003, Liberia experienced 14 years of conflict, specifically 8 years of civil war
Unemployment at approximately 85%
Majority live in extreme poverty
<10% of the arable land is under cultivation
Liberia one of the most food-insecure countries in the world
Information sourced from:
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), (2012): Reducing food insecurity, The Liberian Red Cross Society experience. Retrieved from http://www.ifrc.org/Global/Case%20studies/Disasters/cs-liberia-en.pdf
Calorie supply per capita: 2092
Population undernourished (2010-2012): 30.40%
Under 5 Mortality Rate (per 1,000) 2010: 85.00
In 2008, an estimated 1.3 million people in rural areas and 3.5 – 4 million in urban areas were food insecure.
Approximately 100,000 more children have become malnourished as a result of the food crisis
Information sourced from:
Kenya. (2012). Retrieved April 6, 2014, from Food Security Portal: http://www.foodsecurityportal.org/kenya/resources
55% of population below poverty line
Life Expectancy at birth - 55
GDP per capita US$536.00
Estimated 64% population food insecure
Information sourced from:
World Bank (2014). Mozambique at a Glance - 2012 Data. Retrieved from http://devdata.worldbank.org/AAG/moz_aag.pdf
Rwanda is the most densely populated country within sub-Saharan Africa
57% of Rwandans live below the poverty line with approximately 37% of the population living in extreme poverty
A recent nutrition survey indicates that 43% of children under the age of 5 have acute chronic malnutrition
Currently Rwanda is housing over 70,000 refugees mainly from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, which also affects the food insecurity issue
Information sourced from:
Feed the Future (n.d.). Rwanda | Feed the Future. Retrieved April 8, 2014, from http://www.feedthefuture.gov/country/rwanda
World Food Programme (n.d.). Rwanda | WFP | United Nations World Food Programme - Fighting Hunger Worldwide. Retrieved April 8, 2014, from http://www.wfp.org/countries/rwanda/overview
In 2011, admissions to feeding centres increased by over 100% after experiencing worst drought in 60 years.
Child-malnutrition rates more than double the 15% emergency threshold.
World Health Organisation (WHO). (2013) Building up Health Response in the Horn of Africa. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/hac/crises/horn_of_africa_20july2011/en/
Information sourced from: