Reuters Examines Food Prices In Africa

Reuters examines food prices in Africa after the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization last week said its global Food Price Index hit a record high. “The United Nations may have sounded the alarm about soaring global food prices, but in Africa a string of bumper harvests and a changing diet means the political fallout may be more muted than to past price bumps,” the news service reports.

According to the article, “maize, Africa’s predominant staple, is showing few signs of stress, suggesting a repeat of the unrest of two years ago on the continent is unlikely. … Given Africa’s huge diversity, its 53 countries and its propensity to snatch unrest from the jaws of stability, it is too much to say, however, that it is insulated from the political risks implied by the rising global cost of food.”

The article looks at food prices and consumption across the continent (Cropley, 1/10).

In related news, IANS/Sify Finance reports on a meeting ahead of the upcoming India-Africa Forum Summit that “that is expected to be held in an African country in April-May this year.” According to the article, “India Monday said the Indian model of ‘green revolution’ had an appeal for African countries across the board and underlined that boosting agriculture and food security were at the heart of its engagement with” Africa.

India’s Gurjit Singh, joint secretary in charge of east and southern Africa, “added that it was for Africa to choose its own model of ‘green revolution’ and underlined India’s focus on capacity building, human resource development and skills transfer as key features of its Africa policy. ‘We are not setting any agenda. We only share our experiences when we are asked to do so,’ Singh said in a bid to distinguish India’s agenda-free engagement with the African continent.”

At the first India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi, which happened in 2008, a cooperation framework was adopted that “identified the development of sustainable agriculture as a key priority in the burgeoning partnership between India and Africa. ‘Africa and India agree that agricultural development is an effective approach to ensure food security, eradicating poverty and improve peoples’ livelihood, and agree to strengthen Africa and India cooperation in this sector in order to improve the food security of Africa and to increase its exports to world markets,’ said the joint statement” (1/10).

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