There is Enough Food in the World, But the Hungry Can’t Get to It

More than three decades ago, the United Nations named October 16 World Food Day in honor of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on that day in 1945.  World Food Day provides a spotlight on the global problem of hunger, which is not a problem of too little food in the world, but of poverty and lack of access to food.  In 2012 that light is shining on Sub Saharan Africa, where, according to FAO, there are 64 million more chronically undernourished people today than there were 20 years ago.

As expected, the reasons for this increase are complex and include politics, economics and injustice. But through research, there is a better understanding of underlying evidence about how we might be able to start to reduce hunger in the countries of Africa.

More than half of the poor in Sub Saharan Africa live in rural areas and rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.  A recent report by the International Food Policy Research Institute finds that while improving overall economic growth is important to reducing poverty in African countries, improving agriculture has the largest impact on reducing poverty rates, particularly when the focus is on staple crops like maize, wheat and cassava.  Since agriculture is the economic driver in rural areas, improving agriculture not only reduces hunger, it reduces poverty.

A number of Aid for Africa members focus on agricultural development in the region, including EcoAgricuture Partners, which is working in East Africa to identify strategies for landscapes that produce food and support livelihoods while protecting environmental diversity, and ICIPE, based in Kenya, which works to improve agriculture and the environment throughout Africa through the study of the benefits and harms of insects.

Rural farmers are using small irrigation pumps developed by KickStart International to produce crops year-round, and the Earth Institute works throughout Africa to ensure the sustainability of agriculture, clean water access, and nutrition. Finally, the vast majority of microfinance projects funded by Aid for Africa organizations in rural areas are for sustainable agriculture. We have learned that through agriculture, there is great leverage to improve the lives of  those living in the region.

As part of our commitment to African agriculture, Aid for Africa has created the Aid for Africa Endowment for Food and Sustainable Agriculture at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition in Boston, Massachusetts. The Endowment supports graduate research on food security and poverty reduction in Sub Saharan Africa. Through the Endowment, Aid for Africa is strengthening its focus on expanding sustainable agriculture, building capacity to solve agricultural problems in Sub Saharan Africa, and supporting our outreach on African issues.

Related Stories:

Dispatches from Ethiopia

How Superhero Kids Could Ease Troubles in Kenya

Literacy Libraries Change Lives in Africa


Fiona T.
Past Member 5 years ago

This is the matter of uneven distribution of resources

Stelios A.
Stelios A5 years ago

thanks for this article

Colleen Prinssen
Colleen Prinssen5 years ago

don't forget population growth. and the fact some places will have what is called a grey tsunami. where the elderly population will heavy outweigh others.

Gysele van Santen

thank you for sharing.

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim5 years ago

Microfinancing is such a great idea. It gives people the chance to grow and to start a business. They should also give a lot of workshops to help them learn different things to sustain themselves. I think permaculture should be taught to everyone.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen5 years ago

Thank you

Liliana G.
Liliana Garcia5 years ago

"and supporting our outreach on African issues" What African issues? No offense but I shiver at the thought of what USA ruling elite might define as "African issues", even more so, knowing the grip Big Money (and the Defense Department) has over universities.

Desiree Ponton
Desiree P5 years ago

Kindness in action is so beautiful. Thanks for the article.

Cheryl I.
Past Member 5 years ago

Thank you.

William Seuffert

I have been saying this for years ! The world Population is going down in fact Europe alone has lost one if not two generations thanks in part to abortion. Russia is paying couples to have babies. This is the rich's way of fooling people in order to start the world order. You know the one Bush and other presidents have said a one world government to control everything. The rich elite and corporations will be the new government. Yea as a former farmer there is plenty of food and land and the world population is declining and way to many people have bought into the lies. We continue to kill our babies and now we want to spread it to over to other countries under the guise of controlling this population growth. In one sense they are right it is to control population but just for that control so we can never uprise against the one world government.