Food Security: FAO wants more Japanese participation in Africa

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) wants to encourage Japan’s partnership with African countries as a way to improve nutrition. According to the FAO State of Food and Security report in 2019, the number of hungry people in the world is 821 million. Africa alone accounts for 31% of the global number of hungry people – 251 million people.

According to the Director-General of the organization, Qu Donyu, the African continent needs to strengthen its fight against hunger and nutrition by harnessing Japan’s smart technologies, agricultural machinery, and marketing. Qu Donyu attends the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) held this week in Yokohama, Japan. During the conference, issues related to food security, agriculture and the implementation of programs were discussed to encourage the continent’s growth.

Qu Donyu spoke highlighted some areas of potential collaboration, including the country’s food and nutritional security standards and the cultivation of healthy food diets. He also thanked what he called the fruitful collaboration between FAO and Japan in Africa. “This cooperation has led to the development of efficient and inclusive rice value chains, better measurement of food loss and waste in the food industries and the strengthening of small and medium companies.”

One of the proposed initiatives aims to double rice production to 50 million tons by 2030. The announcement of this initiative was made by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who announced that the implementation will be under the responsibility of the Sasakawa African Association (SAA) in partnership with the JICA.

Agriculture as an opportunity for youth

The event also launched the Flagship Initiative to Accelerate Youth Employment in Agriculture and Agribusiness in Africa (FIAYEA). It is an initiative to accelerate youth employment in agriculture and agribusiness in Africa. Africa has the youngest population in the world, with over 600 million young people in the labor market, and high unemployment rates.

Photo: East Timor. UN/Martine Perret

“When we talk about the potential of human capital in Africa, we are referring particularly to young people,” said FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu. “African agribusiness is expected to create a $ 1 trillion market by 2030 so that agriculture and agribusiness have invaluable and untapped potential to address the challenge of youth unemployment.”

FIAYEA is a partnership between the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the African Union (AU).

The event has been taking place since 1993 and is organized by the Japanese government in conjunction with the UN, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank and the African Union Commission.