Putting More Food on Africa's Table

Putting More Food on Africa's Table

January 19, 2015

"LAST year Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, invested $1 billion into rice production in Nigeria. This new investment is in support of the Nigerian Government’s plan to attain food sufficiency and become a net-exporter of rice by 2015. Rice is crucial to Nigeria food security - 84% of Nigerian households consume rice yet the country has a rice import bill currently exceeding $2 billion, which has the potential to deplete the country’s foreign currency reserves. 

Today the country not too far behind it’s 2015 target and Dangote’s investment will serve to bolster these efforts. Nigeria has currently achieved 80% self-sufficiency in paddy rice production and, in 2013, added seven million metric tonnes of paddy rice to the domestic food supply. 

Food production is a very real concern in Africa. The average annual growth in food demand is projected at 2.83% per year from 2000 - 2030, due to population increase which is set to increase rapidly. By 2030 the continent will need to feed 1.5 billion people and 2 billion by 2050. 

Whilst there has been significant increases in agricultural productivity globally, current productivity growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is not enough - at the rate it’s going today, only 13% of total food demand will be met in 2050. 

North Africa will however fare better with the Middle East and Northern Africa region able to satisfy 83% of total food demand, at it’s current total factor productivity rate. Sub-Saharan Africa’s huge gap will need to be closed through investments in productivity improvements, selective expansion, intensification, and trade."

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