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Next year, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) celebrates its tenth anniversary. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union (AU) Commission, sums up progress achieved in Africa and the remaining challenges on the way to a food-secure continent.

Ms. Tumusiime, is Africa achieving the desired food and nutrition security requirements?

According to World Food Program, by 2009 Africa had about 212 million undernourished people – an increase of around 44 million from 1990. A recent series of reports from expert organisations such as the FAO indicate that one person in every four in Africa lacks adequate food for a healthy and active life. A number of challenges such as food prices and drought are pushing more people into poverty and hunger. This means we have to double food production to feed these populations. We are all aware that Africa's population has now surpassed one billion, growing by an average of more than 2.5 percent while agricultural growth lags behind by a significant margin. 

This is happening despite wonderful past progress that has been made in agricultural research and development, which means that we haven’t done enough. We are aware of the fundamental problems that lie ahead in this regard, mainly the ever increasing world population which requires to be fed from a food production that is not keeping pace with population growth, changes in climate and associated risks to farmers, soil degradation and volatility of agricultural prices that often send wrong signals to farmers.

What assurances can you give that frameworks such as CAADP can change the state of Africa’s agriculture? 

It is important to note the uniqueness of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) as an instrument to guide all continental efforts on agricultural development.

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