Monday, June 09, 2008



Business people and politicians addressing the 18th World Economic Forum on Africa said while the potential for increased food production in Africa was enormous, farmers lacked information, technology and investment.

"We have neglected agriculture for many many years and we have taken for granted that low food prices are here to stay," said Thorleif Enger, chief executive of Norwegian fertiliser company Yara International.

Improving access to seed and fertiliser for small-scale farmers in Africa was a vital component, participants said.

"We know that this is a very effective way to increase food production," said Enger.

Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika said Wednesday that "the world food shortage should be solved here in Africa".....

Obiageli Ezekweseli, vice president of the Africa region for the World Bank, said the continent currently had the lowest yields in the world, as its mostly subsistence farmers struggled to get market access.

Gareth Ackerman, chairman of Pick n Pay holdings, a major South African supermarket chain, said shortening the supply line and providing small farmers with infrastructure and the capability to access markets was key.

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