T20: Investments in irrigation and food system links can prevent food crises in Africa south of the Sahara
Food crises continue to plague the African continent, driven by conflict, climate change, and economic turbulence. Around 33 million people from 10 countries in Africa experienced acute hunger in 2018 due to conflict and political instability, while climate shocks put another 29 million from 20 countries into situations of acute food insecurity, according to the 2019 Global Report on Food Crises.
A new policy brief for the G20’s think tank platform, the T20, suggests that massive investments in expanding irrigation in Africa’s arid and semi-arid areas, and in improving weak and missing links in food systems, could provide the key to building resilience to future food crises. Such investments would provide Africa’s poor and agrarian populations with opportunities to break away from poverty and tap the economic potential of the world’s growing demand for food.
Photo: Tingju Zhu/IFPRI