To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

December 30, 2010

Europe’s food security challenged by Africa’s growing trade with Asia

by Caroline Henshaw

Africa’s farmers will look to the east for new export markets as growing trade links with Asia trump Europe’s historical ties to the continent, according to a study from an influential Harvard professor.

In his new book, entitled The New Harvest, released on December 2, Professor Calestous Juma argues that with improvements in infrastructure, more sympathetic governments and new biotechnology, Africa could feed itself in a generation and become a major exporter.

But as concerns mount over increasing volatility in world food markets, Europe risks being left behind as a key partner to tap the huge potential of African agriculture.

Juma said, “Africa is going to turn more and more to Asia because of the change in traditional trading patterns.”

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates an extra six million hectares need to be brought under cultivation every year for 30 years to feed an additional 2.3 billion people by 2050. And with sub-Saharan Africa estimated to hold up to 60% of the world’s remaining uncultivated farmland, many expect it to become the driver of world food production.

Mineral-hungry Asian countries have dramatically increased their investments in Africa following the 2007-8 commodities boom, when prices for many products reached record highs. Bilateral trade between China and Africa has grown to more than $100 billion in the past ten years, while direct investment from the Asian giant increased nearly six-fold.

By comparison, Europe’s relationship with Africa has become more aid-centric, Mr. Juma said. The EU is responsible for more than 60% of overseas development aid worldwide, including around €800 million per year to agricultural development in sub-Saharan countries.

“What’s africa’s looking for is know-how, not money.”

Juma noted that other issues such as allowing the use of genetically modified crops, which has “become an ideological position rather than a pragmatic position,” are also barring farmers from accessing the EU’s market.

“If the EU does not change its position to reflect Africa’s interests in the way it designs its policies it is going to lose it as a partner.”

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by Ourblogtemplates.com

Back to TOP