Rural areas need help improving food security report says

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

The Global Food Policy Report 2019 has come out saying rural revitalization needs to take place to address persistent crises and improve food security.
According to the, rural people around the world continue to struggle with food-insecurity, poverty, inequality and environmental degradation.
In 2018, many regions of the world faced increasing rates of hunger with global undernourishment continuing to rise for the third year in a row and stagnation tackling malnutrition
“Climate change, deforestation, soil degradation, and pollution increasingly challenge rural productions, sustainability, and well being. Lack of rural infrastructure services and scant economic opportunities have compounded these challenges,” the report reads.
Rapid population growth has exerted increasing demand on small scale agriculture which was had a hard time meeting urban demands. Characterizing rural-urban linkages, identifying value chains, and addressing the constraints of production and productivity are some of the goals the report argues need accomplished.
“The central tenet of this flagship report comes up with a new concept of Rurbanomics which calls for re-thinking the relationship between rural and urban economics as interdependent and integrated.

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

The concept will promote rural-urban partnership and linkages to empower rural populations and achieve inclusive and sustainable development, said Lamin Manneh, general director, UNDP regional service center for Africa.
He further noted that UNDP supports African countries eradicating poverty and reducing inequalities and exclusion by combining those six signature solutions on poverty, governance, resilience, environment, energy and gender.
The report calls for an action agenda strengthening rural-urban linkages, transforming agro-processing system, scaling up non-farm opportunities for creating jobs for the poor, improving the wellbeing of rural communities and empowering local government. It recognizes Ethiopia and Rwanda amongst other countries in the continent for leading the way and setting notable examples of how the principles of Rurbanomics are realized.
Establishment of integrated agro industrial parks in all regional states presents tremendous opportunities in creating jobs for rural communities and addressing food security in Ethiopia.
The massive rural transformation program in rural infrastructure development, installation of irrigation systems, high value crops, secondary cities development and having a range of agro-industries in rural areas puts Rwanda as exemplary in realizing Rurbanomics.
“Rural revitalization is timely, achievable, and most importantly critical to ending hunger and malnutrition in just over a decade,” said Shenggen Fan.
IFPRI is an international agricultural research center founded in the early 1970s to improve the understanding of national agricultural and food policies to promote the adoption of innovations in agricultural technology and has a presence in 46 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and 170 countries in the world.