Food to Educate: Time for Africa to Align with Title II of the US Food Aid Policy

by Antony Simbowo - 20 May, 2024, 12:00 102 Views 0 Comment

Hunger and famine are nothing new in the 21st century Sub Saharan Africa. Across the continent, from the north to the south, many countries cry for food aid yearly due to conditions escalated by adverse weather conditions. In the East and Horn of Africa, famine has left lasting negative impressions on the education, and food security scene across the years as millions die due to inadequate or complete lack of food. Food Aid Policy interventions have been employed in various scenarios where such inadequacies have been experienced. Starting in the 1950s, the Food Aid Policy came from the Comrade Law, which is often known as the PL 480. Its most preferred composite index is Title II.

Food Aid Policy usually ranks countries depending on the degree of need and prefers assistance either in the form of food or monetary help. The food security sector has been transformed over the last 50 years as weather patterns, which, influence agriculture and farming trends, change. This has meant that countries affected by food shortages invest in intervention mechanisms to counter the adverse effects of drought, famine and hunger. While the Food Aid Policy greatly caters to the deprived in the African continent, it has witnessed many challenges along the way due to issues of logistical, social and economic nature.

Professor Christopher Gor, a Kenyan Agricultural Economist and Lecturer once averred in a lecture session that only about 50% of food aid reaches those who need it. Also fronted is the fact that it creates dependency in the consumption-demand-supply chain. Long-term intervention procedures need to be put in place by governments in terms of irrigation and the general development of the agricultural industry. The food distribution channels are complicated and this has meant that some of those affected by hunger do not live long enough to get the food. As such, what many experts are asking for is the alignment with the half-a-century-old Food Aid Policy. In this, Non-Governmental Organizations and corporations have been pivotal in developing livelihood programmes that look into the long-term improvement of food security through the enhancement of agricultural productivity via irrigation, commercial farming and the application of soil conservation mechanisms. The US government and its allies are expected to put in more effort towards lobbying developing nations, such as East Africa’s Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the Horn of Africa, towards modifying the Food Aid Policy to suit the needs of their citizens.

This means that the Policy should be suited to developing resilience locally and buying quality food produced at the local level to mitigate the immediate needs exacerbated by hunger and drought that has resulted in the loss of human lives, crops, and livestock. For that matter, the local crops and livestock should also be bought at a healthy stage and utilized in meeting the challenges faced by potential economic losses for the farmers. They can thereafter be applied to solving hunger and malnutrition among the citizens of the developing world. The time lag faced by the developing nations in giving out and meeting food aid mechanisms shall then be a thing of the past. Moreover, the impact of hunger and malnutrition shall be solved faster than it has been in previous years whereby the developed nations, such as the USA, waited for the recipients of donated corn, flour, meat and other foods to issue out shipped food hence taking time amid shipping logistical challenges and wastage resulting put of biological spoilage caused by harmful microorganisms. To cut the story short, developing nations have been making strides in providing solutions towards challenges faced locally in agricultural production. By embracing new technology they have been able to satisfy certain key farming needs and educate their farmers on agronomic techniques which result in more yields while controlling pest and disease infestations. These aspects once incorporated in alignment with the Title II of the US Food Aid Policy, shall enable the developing nations and especially Africa to manage their hunger, and malnutrition challenges and prevent losses in crops and especially livestock en masse more so in the Horn of Africa. This shall keep more children in school in future.

Antony Simbowo
Author is a dedicated professional with a background in horticulture and a commitment to fostering agricultural development in Eastern Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from Maseno University, Kenya. Currently pursuing a Master’s degree at Maseno University, Antony continues to deepen his expertise and stay abreast of the latest advancements in the field. In his role as a Consultant at AgriConsulting House Enterprise, Antony leverages his academic foundation and practical insights to provide valuable agricultural consultancy services.

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