African Nations Scrambling for Food amid Hyperinflation, Shortages
Prior to the just-begun International
Conference on African Development in Tokyo, the global food
crisis forced several African nations to take desperate measures
in order to feed their populations, amid skyrocketting food
prices and shortages.
- Liberia will receive fertilizers, pesticides, and seeds
from China by July. In addition, the Chinese Vice Foreign
Minister said Chinese agricultural experts will be sent to
Liberia during the dry season to help teach Liberian farmers
modern farming methods. As a short-term measure, China's
government has also agreed to help Liberia secure more stockpiles
- Benin, where an estimated 23% of children under five years
old show signs of moderately stunted growth, the government has
released cereals it keeps in reserve onto the market, but prices
have kept rising. Benin Agriculture Minister Roger Dovonou is
pushing for food self-sufficiency, which he said would require
more than doubling of current production.
- Nigeria and South Korea have signed an agreement to set up
a rice processing mill in a bid to boost production, to be
completed by next year, with South Korea providing $1.8 million
- Kenya authorized the importation of 270,000 tons of maize,
likely from South Africa, in a bid to replenish dwindling
reserves. The U.N. World Food Program warned it might have to cut
by almost half the number of malnourished children in its school
feeding program, eliminating some 550,000 children.
- Namibia: The Cabinet, after a 3-day retreat, has tasked
the Office of the Prime Minister to investigate appropriate
intervention measures that would lessen the impact of rising fuel
and food prices. Separately, at a public meeting, there were
calls for exempting staple foods from value-added tax and urging
self-sufficiency, through higher crop production.