What is needed to build a sustainable and resilient food system in African countries? This was one of the questions considered in 2021 United Nations Food System Pre-Summit in late July. The summit at the beginning of this century aims to identify bold and innovative behaviors and deliver measurable outcomes.
Innovation is the key to improving yield and productivity. This type of innovation stems from continued investment in agricultural research and development and dissemination systems. Examples include high-yielding seed varieties, mechanization, improved soil management and conservation practices. Profitable and efficient use of fertilizer is also important.
In 2006, African leaders met in Khartoum, Sudan, promising to allocate 1% of agricultural GDP to research and development. But most countries in sub-Saharan Africa couldn’t reach this goal.., average. For sub-Saharan African countries, it is only 0.38%.
That’s a requirement, but increasing R & D costs is certainly not enough. It is also important for African countries to create agricultural innovation and technology.
Ultimately, the African food system needs to produce healthy, nutritious foods that meet the standards of the world’s end consumers. Innovation at all levels of the food system is essential to achieving this goal.