Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)
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Strengthening the capacity of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network: Project proposal
August 2004


Introduction

Background

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, with a population of 200 million people, is faced with many agricultural and food insecurity challenges. While agriculture is recognised as the prime driver of economic development in most SADC countries, investments by governments have remained low. As a result, agricultural yields have been level or declining for many crops and livestock in most SADC countries. Yields of most important cereal grains, tubers, and legumes such as maize, millet, sorghum, cassava and groundnuts are no higher today than they were in 1980 in most of the countries. Cereal yields average 1.12 tonnes per hectare, compared with 2.07 tonnes per hectare for the world as a whole. As a result, average per capita dietary energy supplies are 2.16 kcal compared to a requirement of 2.70 kcal per day (FAO, 2000). Food aid and food imports have almost doubled in the last fifteen years.

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