Development Cooperation Handbook/Stories/Need Assessment - Eugenio & Osman in Liberia and Guinea

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Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. World Food Summit, 1996 There are many issues confronting agriculture in Africa. A large number of inhabitants of Africa are involved in agriculture, ranging between 30 %-40% in North Africa to over 80 % in West Africa. Majority of farmers in Africa are subsistence farmers, who have small farm holdings, ranging from 0.5 hectare to about 4 hectares. They produce food for their household plus little for sales in the neighbourhood. Agriculture in Africa is labour intensive, as they rarely use advanced technology in farming; rather they use limited technology, such as hoes and cutlasses. Farmers in Africa are not financially adequate; they are unable to invest in modern technology. Majority of farmers in Africa are aging, as rural-urban drift is prevalent among the youths. For example in Botswana, the rural-urban drift has been phenomenal. While the rural population of Botswana constituted 90.4% in 1991, it fell to j47% in 2001.

Large number of African farmers are illiterate who cannot read or write in any language

According to the n.1, food security is the basic prerequisite for any other purpose of millennium. We'll try to understand what are the difficulties of local agriculture and how to improve the productive capacity of the rice sector and some vegetables (aubergine and onions), together with a field training of farmers, to fight against rising prices and improve the general food safety. We'll be focused on women empowerment as agriculture workers as well. Is there any difference in the empowerment of women, as agriculture workers, compared to the empowerment of men? Any prejudice to face?

The drama is represented by the difficulties of an Italian NGO (cisv) in training local farmers (men and women) and in trying to give them more power and consciousness of their value, as part of local agriculture communities (FUMA and FUPRORIZ). The drama is given by the difficulties in overcoming prejudices, specifically in the tension between men and women, as they are both empowered for agriculture roles.

We will visit many infrastructures they have built in order to improve agriculture production. Moreover we will speak to people who received benefits from the program so they can explain about new technique they learnt and how, sometime even small changes, could mean new hopes for the future for a better life quality. We will put in evidence the importance of cooperation, training and synergy among the various local communities to be more influential in the local market

Landscape of upper Guineè is one of the most beautiful in the country

African agriculture could still have a huge potential.