Africa Human Development Report 2012: Towards a Food Secure Future
Published on 15 May 2012
The 2012 Human Development Report for Africa explores why dehumanizing hunger remains pervasive in the region, despite abundant agricultural resources, a favorable growing climate, and rapid economic growth rates. It also emphasizes that food security – the ability to consistently acquire enough calories and nutrients for a healthy and productive life - is essential for human development.
To boost food security, it argues for action in four interrelated areas: agricultural productivity, nutrition, access to food, and empowerment of the rural poor. It asserts that increasing agricultural productivity in sustainable ways can bolster food production and economic opportunities, thereby improving food availability and increasing purchasing power. Effective nutrition policies can create conditions for the proper use and absorption of calories and nutrients. Finally, empowering the rural poor - especially women - and harnessing the power of information, innovation, and markets can promote equitable allocation of food and resources within families and across communities.
- Sub-Saharan Africa’s population, 856 million in 2010, is projected to exceed 2 billion shortly after 2050.
- More than one in four Africans - close to 218 million people - is undernourished.
- Two major biases – towards towns rather than rural areas and towards men, not women – have been principal factors in explaining Africa’s food insecurity.
- African governments spend between 5-10% of their budgets on agriculture, well below the 20% average that Asian governments devoted to the sector during the green revolution there.
- Women are significant food producers, but their control of land in sub-Saharan Africa is less than in any other region.