Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EBA) for food security in Africa: towards a comprehensive strategic framework to upscale and out-scale EbA-driven agriculture in Africa

Africa faces a myriad of hurdles on its way to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda. Climate change, population growth, youth bulge, widespread unemployment, extreme poverty and hunger are some of the challenges that the continent is grappling with. Africa’s agricultural potential is immense. It is estimated the continent holds up to 65% of the world’s arable land and 10% of internal renewable fresh water sources. On incomes and poverty reduction, evidence from the World Bank is reported that in Africa, a 10% increase in crop yields translates to approximately a 7% reduction in poverty, greater than the 5% reduction reported in Asia. Neither the manufacturing nor services sectors can achieve an equivalent impact. The reason for this could be that in Africa, agriculture is not only a source of food but of livelihood, employing up to 60% of labour in the continent, a majority being small holders at 60%.

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