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65% of Africa’s Arable Land ‘Too Damaged’ for Food Production

Posted by feww on January 14, 2015


Soil degradation affecting 180 million people in SSA alone

The impacts of land degradation in Africa are substantial: 65% of arable land, 30% of grazing land and 20% of forests are too damaged for food production, according to a report published by the Montpellier Panel—a group of agriculture, ecology and trade experts from Africa and Europe.

“Affecting nearly one-third of the earth’s land area, land degradation reduces the productive capacity of agricultural land by eroding topsoil and depleting nutrients resulting in enormous environmental, social and economic costs. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) an estimated 180 million people are affected, while the economic loss due to land degradation is estimated at $68 billion per year.”

africa soil degradation
Types of soil degradation in Africa. Source: MONTPELLIER PANEL December 2014 Report.  Read more…

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2 Responses to “65% of Africa’s Arable Land ‘Too Damaged’ for Food Production”

  1. tlarremore said

    Yet does not the population continue to increase?

    • feww said

      There are increasing cases of extreme famine in sub-Sahara Africa. Some 570 million people, or more than half the population of Africa, are undernourished or worse. That figure has grown by about 60 percent over the last two decades, according to USDA and other sources.

      In 2012, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, and Chad, all in Africa, were the top recipients of emergency food aid. (Africa received a total of about 3.8 million mt of food).

      As the population of Africa increases, millions more are killed in ever-bloodier conflicts, mostly fought over scarce natural resources, especially land.

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