Segunda Conferencia Internacional sobre Nutrición (CIN-2), 19-21 de noviembre de 2014

An analysis of the food system landscape and agricultural value chains for nutrition: A case study from Sierra Leone

Joyce Njoro

One of the greatest challenges in development is to ensure that all people have access to sufficient and quality food to ensure food and nutrition security. The global agriculture system is the main driver to address this challenge. The global agricultural system is producing enough food, in aggregate, but access to enough food that is affordable and nutritious has been lacking, not only in poor nations but wealthy ones as well. Agricultural systems vary across the world -- from large-scale monocrop landscapes to smallholdings of farmers who typically live on less than two hectares of land. At least half of the world’s food insecure is poor, smallholder farmers living in low-income countries cultivating on marginal lands without access to productivity-enhancing technologies or markets to engage in commercial agriculture (Shetty 2009).
Many in Africa live in rural areas trapped in a combination of low-productivity agriculture, poor health, and undernutrition. Africa has the highest proportion of rural poor and the greatest potential for smallholder agriculture led poverty reduction (Hawkes and Ruel, 2006). Smallholder farming is the dominant mode of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa with 80% of its farms comprising of 2 hectares or less. However despite the rich natural resources and food diversity, agricultural growth has not kept up with population growth, and its productivity largely falls behind other regions such as Asia. The agricultural sector in Africa consists mainly of rain-fed, low-technology, low-input, non-mechanized smallholder farming (IFAD 2011) and food production has been insufficient largely due to conflict, natural disasters, crop failure and food prices.


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