Agriculture and food insecurity risk management in Africa: concepts, lessons learned and review guidelines

  • 01/09/2016
  • FAO

Africa is one of the regions in the world most affected by food price volatilities and production variability. Spiking and volatile food prices have created uncertainty and risks for producers, traders and processors, resulting in increased food insecurity for consumers. At the root of the food price and production variability are hydro-meteorological disasters which comprise cyclones, floods, landslides, wild fires and dry spells. Droughts affect the largest number of people on the continent, followed by floods and storms. Geological disasters, such as earthquakes and volcanoes, are relatively less frequent and impact fewer countries. A review of best practices and country experiences has demonstrated that there is no agricultural transformation without risk management. Mapping the various risks faced by farmers, value chain operators, and the households’ access to food is fundamental. Governments need to support appropriate risk-hedging instruments and engage in capacity development to increase the effectiveness of the different measures applied. It should, however, be noted that risk management strategies are context specific and vary from one region to another.