Collaboration key to enhancing food security across East Africa

Pieter Bastiaanssen, Managing Director, Middle East & Africa at Nutreco.

With the world’s population estimated to hit 10 billion people by 2050, the need to address challenges such as food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition is urgent.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), hunger will affect 9.8 per cent of the world’s population (over 840 million) people by 2030 if current trends continue.

The problem is unevenly distributed across the globe with Africa being the most affected.

According to FAO, 250 million people in Africa are undernourished, with the demand for quality protein sources increasing in East Africa alone.

Africa's population of those who lack food is predicted to hit 340 million people by 2050, exacerbating the problem.

Resolving these concerns in Africa and across the globe necessitates immediate action. Conflicts caused by humans, economic downturns and climate change pose obstacles to our access to sustainable food solutions.

In East Africa, challenges such as conflict, drought and inflation are disrupting the region, thus the need for food and agricultural sectors to collaborate, develop and seek wise investments that drive efficient production methods.

 This will ensure everyone has consistent access to food.

Demand for protein

The new partnership between Unga Group and Nutreco is one such example of the collaborations required to help meet the demand for protein and improve food security across East Africa.

Nutreco hopes to use the knowledge and know-how of both firms to make this a success and address food insecurity in the region. It will work with Unga Group, a local market leader with vast experience in the region in a venture named Tunga Nutrition.

Tunga Nutrition Kenya will expand production capacity at its jointly owned fish feed factory in Nairobi, while Tunga Nutrition Uganda will transform Unga Millers’ dormant plant in Kampala into a feed mill that will produce animal feeds and concentrates.

When markets are in the process of developing, it is critical for businesses operating in such markets to transition from an import model to local production in order to continue offering high-quality, low-cost goods.

Moving to local production helps markets become self-sufficient and self-sustaining, which improves regional food security.

As we try to enhance food production in developing markets, it's critical that farmers and local feed producers collaborate closely.

The writer is the Managing Director, Nutreco, Middle East & Africa

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