Covid-19 A Wake-up Call To Develop Agriculture In Africa
Farmer's Weekly|November 6, 2020
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Covid-19 A Wake-up Call To Develop Agriculture In Africa
During the first wave of COVID-19 infections in many countries around the world, the critical role of agriculture in society was highlighted as governments called on farmers and agro-processing industries to continue operations even during lockdown periods, says Prof Charles Kadzere of the Dohne Agricultural Development Institute in the Eastern Cape.
Prof Charles Kadzere

Agricultural production supplies humankind’s basic needs for food and fibre. Throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has emphasised the importance of well-balanced nutrition for a sturdy immune system.

Demonstrating the eminent role of agriculture across societies, the pandemic has therefore provided a wake-up call to Africa, especially sub-Sahara Africa (SSA), to develop the region’s enormous agricultural potential.

This would lead to healthier, more productive, and resilient societies and economies, save about US$60 billion (R986 billion) in annual food imports, create jobs, thereby reducing unemployment, and unleash economic development. If anything, COVID-19 should encourage each African country to quadruple its efforts to develop its agricultural potential. About 60% of the world’s underdeveloped and unused agricultural land is in Africa. Land currently used for agriculture in SSA produces only at 30% of potential, leaving a 70% growth gap.

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November 6, 2020