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November 21st, 2019 / Africa Business Magazine

A combination of climate change, population growth and regional conflict has created the worst food crisis across Africa since 1945, according to aid agency World Relief.

In 2018, the African countries suffering the worst food shortages due to declining harvests driven by drought were, in order of severity, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, South Sudan and northern Nigeria the Food Security Information Network’s Global Report on Food Crises says.

Although 60% of the world’s untilled, arable land lies on the continent, Africa accounts for just 4% of global agricultural output. Scientists blame low productivity on erratic weather patterns, drought, poor seed quality and outdated farming methods.

Yet producers of genetically modified (GM) seeds – produced from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering – claim to have the answer. The former CEO of Monsanto, Hugh Grant, says that the only way agricultural output can be doubled by 2050 is through biotech breakthroughs. Read more …