Looking Ahead: Long-term Prospects for Africa’s Agricultural Development and Food Security
Food security in Africa has substantially worsened since 1970. Although the proportion of malnourished individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa has remained in the range of 33–35 percent since around 1970, the absolute number of malnourished people in Africa has increased substantially with population growth, from around 88 million in 1970 to an estimate of over 200 million in 1999–2001.
Yet this discouraging trend need not be a blueprint for the future. New research from IFPRI shows that policy choices and investments made now could substantially improve, or further worsen, the prospects for food security in Africa over the next two decades. This paper explores and evaluates the consequences of various policies related to food security in Africa based on projections for the year 2025, focusing on agricultural production. It uses IFPRI’s International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT) and IMPACT–WATER to consider how several different policy scenarios are likely to affect the supply of, demand for, and trade of crops. The results of these policy scenarios show that the number of malnourished children, one important indicator of food security, could rise as high as 41.9 million or fall as low as 9.4 million by 2025.