World Vision and the World Food Programme have blown the alarm of a food crisis in the Sahel region in Africa. The World Bank also warned that a worrying broad-based increase in grain prices fuelled by a severe drought in the U.S. Midwest, would affect the world’s poor, including those in the world’s least developed continent, Africa. This position has been corroborated by leading economist and Vice President at the African Development Bank (AfDB), Mthuli Ncube.
According to Ncube, growing food prices could hit commodity producers in Africa and in the Sahel most especially, with a dangerous ‘double whammy’ when combined with the economic slowdown experienced in Europe and China, thereby reducing African exports of oil and raw materials.
This food price spike is occurring despite an otherwise positive economic growth outlook for Africa, that will outpace much of the rest of the world, adds Ncube of the AfDB. The 2012 African Economic Outlook published by the AfDB with other international institutions, predicts Africa’s growth increasing to 4.5% in 2012 from 3.4% in 2011 in a display of healthy resilience in threatening global conditions.
The Sahel region, situated in Sub-Saharan Africa, is a transition zone between the arid north and the tropical green forest that borders the maritime coast. It lies over a surface area of 5.4 million km2 with a population of about 50 million inhabitants. Countries found in the Sahel region include Eritrea, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia.
Farming happens to be the main source of income for many people of the Sahel region with millet and sorghum as the main food crops. Most low and middle-income households in this area are reliant on subsistence farming on self-sufficient farms.
Read more at the Africanliberty.org site Is the food crisis in the Sahel region of Africa a curse? ~ Chofor Che