Agriculture can end poverty and hunger-World Bank

Hauwa Noroh Ali

World Bank Head of Communications Agriculture Global Practice, Mr Sarwat Hussain has advocated the use of agriculture as a means to end poverty and hunger  in Africa.

Mr Hussein said that agriculture remained one of the largest sources of jobs, food security and market security because when farmers export they generate additional income.

Mr Hussein who disclosed this in an interview with Voice of Nigeria on the side lines of African Media Initiative and World Bank Media training on strengthening reporting and coverage of Agriculture and food sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa in Abidjan, Ivory Coast added that “despite significant progress 795 million people still are not getting the minimum dietary energy needs”.

“Productive  increases in agriculture has all round benefits across the economy as with every dollar investment returns dollars with benefits and even more depending on other sectors and other crops if you have a productive vibrant agriculture is the source of wellbeing and prosperity as countries have shown by focusing on sustainable agriculture for the benefit of all “.

Mr Hussain stressed that the way agriculture can become a part of the solution is through multi-sectoral approaches on how food systems can be shaped through new knowledge and processes” our food system must shift from being part of the problem to becoming a greater part of the solution. The key challenge is to bring about changes among the food actors and set up policies that will help he them to thrive”

He further noted that in setting up interventions a differentiated approach needed to be taken, country by country “No one size fits all, Countries need to tailor the combination of interventions to suit their specific needs .Moreover , different combinations of actions are needed  across low-middle and high income countries”IMG_0248

He said that majority of the people are in Sub-Saharan Africa, in which 1 in 4 people are hungry and in South Asia, 1 in 6 people are hungry.

Mr Hussein said that globally, over 2 billion people are overweight or obese, two-thirds of who live in developing countries “energy and micronutrient deficiency  are contributors to the 165 million children under 5 who are stunted and cannot grow to achieve their full potential.”

He said Globally this number was equivalent to approximately 1in 4 children under 5 years with an even more concentrated situation in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia “child stunting is one of the biggest development challenges . If not addressed it will profoundly undermine the ability to end poverty and promote shared prosperity”

Gender Consideration

The head of Communications Agricultural Global Practice explained that the link between food systems and household nutrition and health passes primarily through women, adding that greater consideration of this gender dimension is needed across their own circumstances

Mr Hussein again noted that Agriculture is the single most important sector in emerging economies especially Sub-Saharan Africa.

 “Productive increases in agriculture has all round benefits across the economy as with every dollar investment returns dollars with benefits and even more depending on other sectors and other crops if you have a productive vibrant agriculture is the source of wellbeing and prosperity as countries have shown by focusing on sustainable agriculture for the benefit of all “.

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