Discussion on food insecurity

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When we last had this discussion on agriculture/food insecurity and what is ailing our production, we discussed planning or the lack of it. In this sector what has inhibited growth of it. Today I wish to discuss another aspect touching on the structures of management in this sector.

In most parts of the developing world, governments seem never to plough back proportionate resources to the agricultural sector as to its production. This has over the years made it difficult to retain or to recruit qualified staff in the sector. Let’s take extension services as an example of a service that’s responsible for disseminating Knowledge, technology, agricultural information and linking farmers to other actors of the economy. In most African countries except for a few, these services are as well as dead. Considering the importance of extension services in promoting and transforming of subsistence farming to modern and commercial agriculture, it would be considered unwise not to invest in it enough resources in its promotion. This is just an example of some of the management structures lacking in the agricultural sectors of the economy. Others management issues bedeviling the agricultural sector are red tapes, bureaucracy, corruption and absenteeism of agricultural officers among other.

Another factor that is inhibiting agricultural production is poor infrastructure and lack of important amenities like electricity, piped water and security. Most agricultural activities in Africa and all over the world are done in the rural areas. Unfortunately, in Africa these are the most under developed in terms of infrastructure and amenities making it very expensive and uneconomical for both the farmers and related economic actors to get involved in farming. Farmers are also unable to get farm inputs like fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and insecticides and that’s besides not getting the technology in time as is required. Poor Infrastructure also inhibits the ability of farmers to take their produce to the market hence broken food distribution chains and thereby playing a big role in making respective countries food insecure.

These factors coupled with others to follow in our next and final discussion on food insecurity should be taken and implemented by policy makers and implementers to help the developing world alleviate itself from poverty.

By:Daniel Mwai

Corporate Market – IRES

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