Eradicating poverty in Africa

Eradicating poverty and ensuring food security depends on the health of the ecosystems that underpin human health, wellbeing, livelihoods, jobs and sustainable growth. Nigerian Minister of Environment Amina J Mohammed makes the case for an ecosystem-based adaptation approach to agriculture in an opinion article in Al Jazeera. "There is another West African proverb: 'It is a fool whose tomatoes are sold to him.' Unfortunately this is the reality in Nigeria and most parts of our continent. But the true fool is the man who grows enough tomatoes to feed himself only to throw them away and buy someone else's tomatoes... This is not just a Nigerian problem. It is an African problem. Sub-Saharan Africa spends USD 35 billion on importing food each year, and the region loses a further USD 48 billion from food that is wasted post-harvest because of poor roads, inadequate storage and poor access to markets." Despite the challenges, Mohammed insists that the solution is not out of reach. "Today, we already have the knowledge to do this. Simply raising agricultural productivity is not enough. If we want to achieve food security we must ensure that we look after the vital ecosystems that allow us to produce our food."