May 23, 2018 Last Updated 11:11 AM, May 23, 2018

African agriculture must expand to match its population growth by 2050

tractor farm SAabneditABN - A new study has found that Africa will struggle to feed its growing population if it doesn’t drastically improve its agricultural sector over the next 35 years.

Researchers revealed in a report published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that sub-Saharan Africa’s current self-sufficiency ratio is just above 0.8.

“This ratio is among the (sub)continents with the lowest cereal self-sufficiency ratio, while it has the greatest projected increase in population,” the report stated.

Africa’s population is expected to grow 2.5 times by 2050, more than half of the total global growth in this period.

In response to this study, experts have concluded that Africa must enlarge its agricultural industry, particularly arable land used for staple crop growth.

Co-author of the report Kindie Tesfaye said: “African countries need to look at what is coming in the next 50 or 60 years, in terms of feeding their population. This has to be planned ahead of time.”

However, environmental concerns will be raised if significant amounts of land are razed to support cereal crop growth. 


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