IMPROVING QUALITY OF LIFE THROUGH AGRICULTURAL AND NUTRITIONAL POLICY IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: AN INFORMED PLATFORM FOR POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT

Eliot Martin

Abstract


A food security based approach to development did not develop as quickly in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 1970s as it had in Asia, but over the past decade and a half, especially, a cumulative wealth of evidence has led to conclusions that suggest developmental efforts focusing on food systems and nutrition are the most cost-effective and far reaching of efforts to combat poverty and improve health. While hunger indicators have improved over the years, malnutrition remains the most significant challenge to development in the region. The poverty trap caused by malnutrition, and the broader impacts of inadequate nutrition, mean that policy targeting agriculture and nutrition have higher benefits-to-cost than any other policy measures. In analysis of research and developments in agriculture, nutrition, and human development over the past 40 years, the key areas of focus which are most pragmatic for future developmental policy pushes in Sub-Saharan Africa are funding and supporting sustainable intensification of agricultural productivity, promoting women’s economic involvement, coordinating multi-pronged programs centered around food security which include smart input subsides and safety nets, urging the dissemination of agricultural diversity in addition to furthering funding and research in biofortification and improved crops, instituting equitable infrastructure development, working towards the removal of barriers to trade, and accepting accountability through national government reforms in the region.

Keywords


Food Security; Development; Sub-Saharan Africa; Malnutrition; Poverty; Policy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15695/vurj.v10i0.4048

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