US Hosts African Food Security Summit In Johannesburg

In a bid to resolve the pressing issues of food security in Africa, the United States government will be hosting a Highlevel Summit on Food Security in Sandton, Johannesburg on the May 22, 2012.

During the USA Food Security Summit that will be hosted by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the pressing issue of food security, or the availability of food and a population’s access to it, will be dealt with extensively.

In this one-day seminar, American and South African industry leaders will provide insights on food security, nutrition, world food trends and practical solutions for cost-effective feeding of the people in Africa.

“We invite stakeholders and buyers from the African Continent’s food industry to join us, to listen and exchange views on the issues that will be put on the table, as well as be introduced to a range of quality, cost-effective food products from the USA,” said Jim Hershey, seminar facilitator and executive director of the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) at the American Soybean Association (ASA) in briefing with Journalists.

Topics on the agenda include global food demand and rising food prices, the role of trade in transforming agriculture into food security and building a platform for long-term food security and trade in Africa, for good health and economic development.

“Among the food products that will be introduced and discussed, are dry beans, peanuts, dehydrated potatoes, value-added soy proteins and seafood. This emphasis on protein-rich products is deliberate in view of the role played by protein-deficiency in stunting and the prevalence of this condition in Africa,” Hershey added.

Stunting, which is reflective of chronic nutritional deficiency and results in low height for age, affects an estimated 195 million children in the developing world.

More than 90% of the world’s stunted children live in Africa and Asia, and according to a January 2011 UNICEF news release, of the 24 countries that account for 80% of the world’s stunting burden, seven are in the Eastern and Southern African region.

By 2100 the world’s population will exceed ten billion and more than 80% of that population will be resident in Africa and Asia, according to the United Nations.

Right now, world population growth coupled with the economic crisis and its resultant higher food prices and falling consumption mean that the world, and Africa in particular, is facing a food security crisis.


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