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Cargill’s Africa Learning Journey explores Zambia’s food system to strengthen global food security

Filed under: Business,Latest News |
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Cargill spokesperson, Emmanuel Mbewe with local farmers in ChipataTo mark its 150th anniversary this year, Cargill is convening diverse groups of thought leaders to go on a series of Learning Journeys around the world starting with Africa.  The Africa Learning Journey, which explored the food systems in Zambia first-hand during the week of 21 June, is part of Cargill’s commitment to strengthen global food security and aims to create dialogue that will spark insights, challenge assumptions and forge a broader understanding about Africa’s food systems.

The Africa Learning Journey participants comprise representatives from companies in the food and beverage, retail, agriculture, and technology sectors; academia; government agencies; and non-governmental organizations. The group visited farms, production facilities, retail outlets and extension program sites in Zambia and South Africa last week, as they learned how food moves from farm to fork in a region that is undergoing significant demographic shifts. They also investigated one of the world’s most pressing questions: “How will we produce enough food for a growing, more affluent and increasingly urban world in the years ahead?”One of the Learning Journey participants greets children in Eastern Province

Today, nearly one in eight people goes to bed hungry every night and by 2050 the population will rise to over 9 billion. Africa has about 200 million people between the ages of 15 and 24. It is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies and as much as 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated land suitable for agriculture, yet a fifth of the population remains undernourished.

With more of Sub-Saharan Africa’s people migrating to cities at twice the rate of the rest of the world, the challenges facing the continent will be significant as countries undergo rapid transitions through different phases of development and look to build food supply chains that often will stretch across borders. Making sure Africa can realise its agricultural potential will not only enable it to feed its own people, but will also help lift its citizens out of poverty and serve as a cornerstone for broader economic growth.

Commenting on the African Learning Journey, Cargill Zambia General Manager, Lezanne Van Zyl emphasised Cargill’s role in the global food system and its need for partnerships to achieve food security. She said:

“We believe we have a role to play in the global food system, and in Africa in particular. We also believe that it is possible to feed a world with 9 billion people but Africa needs to be part of the solution by realizing the potential of its agricultural production. We know today’s environment is too complex for any one institution to effect positive change on its own. We need partners with diverse perspectives to help us explore and develop solutions. The organizations on this Learning Journey represent a broad array of viewpoints and expertise.”The Learning Jouney participants meet with the Cargill local team

Cargill has operations in 67 countries around the world and has been active in Africa since 1981. Cargill believes in the future of agriculture in Zambia and strives to promote sustainable farming practices, improve the livelihoods of farming communities and support long-term, sustainable agricultural production in the country as part of its contribution to global food security efforts. Testament to this is Zambia’s selection as one of the two Cargill-operating out of 67 others to being included in the Learning Journey.

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