Dr. Monty Jones directs Ghana's Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa. To him, the recent rise in food prices is more than a humanitarian crisis. He says it's a business opportunity.
"We all believe that agriculture is the backbone for economic growth in Africa," said Jones. "And I think that Africa should turn around this as an opportunity to increase its food production. And, I believe that we are getting ready for that." He emphasized "empowering smallholders to make sure they can access information and outside inputs and have their voices heard. If that happens, I foresee a considerable increase in production"
Dr. Jones was speaking at a debate on how Africa should respond to the growing problem of food insecurity. Panelists agreed that African farmers have been neglected. As a result, they grow less per acre than anywhere else in the world.
Experts predict the current food crisis will force leaders to provide farmers with better education, affordable fertilizer, high-yield varieties of seeds, and improved irrigation.
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Voice of America 05/06
ChinaView 05/06 World Economic Forum calls for support for smallholders to address food crisis
Tehran Times 08/06 World Bank says food crisis can be opportunity for Africa