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