FOOD SECURITY OR FOOD SOVEREIGNTY: AN INQUEST INTO THE ULTIMATE PARADIGM TO PUT AN END TO AFRICA'S PERRENIAL HUNGER

Aondofa Daniel Mailumo, Augustine Sadiq Okoh

Abstract


Global Hunger Index of 2014 indicates hunger has remarkably improved globally, falling by 39 percent since 1990. Yet, the status of hunger in Africa is 'extremely alarming' as 30 percent of the population is still undernourished.  Hunger is intimately tied to vulnerability to stress which is equally linked to food availability and accessibility. Intersecting challenges of Africa's erratic weather patterns, conflict, weak governance and rising population make daunting the task of food security. Coupled with this the vexing problem of finding the ultimate food paradigm to navigate the unequal exchange in food distribution within the continent. Though two concepts compete for attention as the ultimate paradigm for endogenous food production: food security and food sovereignty. Even so, food security is the dominant approach with immense benefits for the different countries are experimenting with these concepts with startling lack of clarity for a food secure future. This prompts us to ask: can Africa confront this paradigm shift from agricultural trenches of food insularity or build new bridges in food rights for the smallholder farmer? The productive tension underlying this food policy complex could prove to be a 'boon' or 'doom' crisis for agricultural productivity. Food security is a case of ideological subsumption aimed at material consumption. Therefore, is creating virtuous cycles wherein smallholder farmers are pushed to either debt or out of business. Food sovereignty builds resilience, and stability to spur inclusive growth through holistic integration of smallholder farmers leading to eco-efficient allocation of resources. To build resilience of the poor, there must be safety nets geared towards pre-empting shocks rather than being mere reactionary measure. A food secured future will require integration of social safety nets into development policy to reduce lag time in meeting challenges when confronted with climate shocks.


Keywords


Food Sovereignty, Family farmer, Food Security, Allocative Justice, Food Justice, Poverty alleviation, Sustainable Development Goals.

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