Farmer from southern Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ region holding one of her household chickens (photo credit: ILRI Camille Hanotte).
Africa, which imports nearly 83% of the food it consumes, has a real chicken and egg problem. The continent is caught between pressure from imports in some countries and an inability to meet demand in others.
Africa’s chicken crisis is an expression of overall weaknesses in its agricultural system. If Africa cannot raise its grain production it cannot expect do well in increasing its chicken output.
It is a complex problem. Producing chickens requires low-cost feed such as corn. Yet producing grain to meet human needs remains one of the continent’s most pressing challenges. Africa’s urban populations, for example, are growing faster than the continent can produce grain. This has contributed to Africa’s shift from being a net food exporter to…
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