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Ag-entrepreneurs, youth linked to Africa’s food security

Ag-entrepreneurs, youth linked to Africa’s food security

Jun 23, 2014

On 18 June 2014, DuPont and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) jointly announced key Africa-related findings from the 2014 Global Food Security Index (GFSI) at the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) and Corporate Council on Africa Agribusiness and Food World Forum in Cape Town, South Africa. This year, the Index demonstrated that every region improved from the prior year, but the most progress was seen among Sub-Saharan Africa countries, driven primarily by improvements in political stability and economic growth, despite the food-insecure environment.

The 2014 Global Food Security Index report showed 70 percent of countries in the study increased their food security scores over the previous year. The 2014 Index measures 109 countries against 28 food security indicators that monitor the ongoing impact of agriculture investments, collaborations and policies around the world. The Index also examines how two new factors, obesity and food loss, affect access to safe, nutritious and affordable food.

During her comments today at the IFAMA Forum, Pamela Chitenhe, DuPont Pioneer Africa Regional Director, discussed the challenge of food security. “The need to recruit young people to pursue careers as farmers, agronomists, scientists and ag-entrepreneurs is linked directly to Africa’s food security and long term development. At DuPont, we recognize the critical role youth play in food security and  harness our global science capabilities and resources to help young people build the skill and will to address food security,” said Chitenhe.

DuPont believes that there’s a Science to Feeding the World.  “Science is universal, but solutions are local. Although science provides universal answers, solutions must be local, due to variations in climate, soils, cultural traditions, transportation and distribution infrastructure. We should employ youth at different levels: in business and in rural communities to find local solutions,” added Chitenhe.

Key highlights from the Global Food Security Index Report
The challenge of global food security should be the top priority of all nations, companies and individuals. It will take all of us – working collaboratively – to ensure every person has enough nutritious food to eat.

  • In the Index, SSA scores on food security were still very low but improved more in this region than any other. Although the improvement in noticeable, low average incomes, widespread poverty and a heavy reliance on costly food imports prevents the region from achieving its food goals.
  • Although SSA has experienced record-high economic growth rates over the past five years, it remains by far the poorest region of the world. According to the World Bank, 18 countries (almost 65% of the SSA countries included in the GFSI) are classified as low-income countries, and an estimated 50% of the population continues to live on less than US$1.25 (weighted at purchasing power parity— PPP—rates) per day.
  • In the Index, Southern Africa, led by South Africa, has the highest overall food security score, reflecting higher income levels and relatively more developed farming sectors than in other areas of SSA.

About the Global Food Security Index
As a part of its commitment to food security, DuPont commissioned the development of the Global Food Security Index to address the need for specific metrics to illustrate what food security looks like country by country and globally.

Developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the annual Global Food Security Index is a first-of-its-kind ranking tool to comprehensively measure food security and monitor the ongoing impact of agriculture investments, collaborations and policies in 109 countries – 28 of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Index measures the core issues of affordability, availability, and quality & safety.

“At DuPont, we are committed to working with others to develop local solutions to the challenge of food security in Africa and around the world,” said Chitenhe. “The company is committed to working with others – through collaborations with NGOs, governments, academia and others in the industry to help end world hunger and ensure food security that is achievable by the end of 2020.

For more information on the interactive Global Food Security Index, including definitions of the 28 global indicators, impact of changing food prices, multi-country comparisons and more, click here. DuPont is committed to driving food security efforts locally, sustainably and collaboratively; visit or follow the conversation on Twitter at #FoodSecurity to learn more.

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