In some African countries, foreign investment in food production has improved infrastructure and quality of life. But large-scale agriculture has also had negative effects, including environmental degradation and destruction of small farms. Photojournalist Robin Hammond, who covered this conflict for National Geographic magazine, gives a ground-level view of the issues.
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At National Geographic’s Future of Food forum on May 2, 2014, leading experts gathered to discuss how we can feed a global population set to top nine billion by 2050.

Click here for National Geographic’s eight-month series on the future of food:

Africa’s Complicated Food Puzzle | Future of Food

National Geographic

Africa's Complicated Food Puzzle | Future of Food

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  • wellington maronga

    The secret behind Africa's food security is ownership of land by local populace.Africa's economy is agro-based, so land ownership is a pre-requisite.

  • wellington maronga

    The secret behind Africa's food security is ownership of land by local populace.Africa's economy is agro-based, so land ownership is a pre-requisite.

  • mokonzi2K6

    The future of Africa is not anywhere else on earth but in Africa…If every African can purchase one acre of arable land in Africa, we would have no reasons to stay outside of our continent…

  • jerry drake

    Aquaponics is a food supply revolution in the making.  It is a closed water system – which means that there is very little water waste – that has a high production rate of producing animal protein (fish mainly) and vegetable crops  – by using the fish waste as a fertilizing component to grow organic vegetables.  The fish are in a lower tank and the waste is pumped up to the vegetable crops.  In the arid environments of Africa this system would allow a sustainable food subsistence to act on a scale that is either part of a family subsistence program or that of a commercial enterprise.  The same model can be applied to western urban environments.

  • MrArthoz

    Again with the propaganda attacking Malaysian palm oil plantation…you say it destroy the environment? We replant palm oil trees every two DECADES or so…there are wildlife like wildboars, birds, critters, elephants and even tigers living there, we only come to the plantation to clear overgrown bush and pick the fruits ONCE a month…the fruit of the palm oil trees could also be cooked for normal consumption in case of starvation, not just for oil…right now there are even studies on extracting oil from the leaves and branches too…underneath the thick palm oil forest, herbal plants also thrives and we rear FREE RANGE cattle, goats, fowls…

    Can your soy farm do better than palm oil? Can you let cows, goats, chicken roam free in your soya farm? Is there tiger or wild boars frolicking in your soya farm? Is there other plant life beside soya bean tree in your soya farm? After you continuously plough the land after every harvest EVERY YEAR…what is there left? Is there even a small family of rodent hiding among the barren chemically fertilized field? 

    So now who is actually causing the real harm to the environment…sure we cut forest to plant palm oil but we provide a sustainable source of oil not just for food but also biodiesel from palm tree while still giving an environtment for wildlife to survive…not perfect but it still exist as an acceptable harmony for human and wildlife survival alike…unlike a soya farm…

    A palm oil plantation provide riches from export of oil commodity to the locals BUT AT THE SAME TIME provide a platform for wildlife to thrive to some degree AND source of food like cattle…which incidentally creates FERTILIZER….hey the great circle of life…but I guess only asian understood natural wisdom…westerners know only to talk…from the comfort of their home and through the wisdom of wikipedia…your degree is nothing more than a wall decoration…worth less than the wallpaper you use…

  • Humptydumptytribe

    "They are unable to raise enough food to feed their family of nine." Hmmm… can't imagine why. The solution — the ONLY solution — to Africa's food shortage is to reduce the number of mouths competing for the food. Guess Mother Nature has reduced the number of mouths competing for African food by about 1,000 recently. It's called Mother Nature bringing out her broom, and putting disease to work to do what diseases were designed to do: restore balance in an unbalanced ecosystem. You go, Mama!

  • João Valério Jacinto

    É de fato,um grande desafio.Que precisa encontrar uma saída.E pra isso exige atitudes. E não ha duvidas,que já esta na hora de rever, o que possamos fazer.Aqueles que usam a cabeça, como comando.Fazer bom uso do que se pensas,e por a mão na massa. É por ai …

  • TJ B

    The world needs to stop relying on animals for food and start relying on plants. You have to feed animals food that you could be eating to raise them so you can slaughter them that one moment to have their bodies. Food, water, and resources that could be used for a variety of stuff.

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