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Africa Crucial to Meeting World Food Needs, WFP’s Sheeran Says

Global food demand will outpace supplies by 2050 without substantial gains in crop production by African farmers, said Josette Sheeran, the executive director of the World Food Program.

“The world will not be able to feed itself by the year 2050 without the African farmer,” Sheeran said in an interview in Washington. The Rome-based agency, part of the United Nations, is the world’s largest distributor of humanitarian food aid.

By 2050, food production must increase 70 percent to feed an estimated world population of 9 billion people, up from today’s 6.8 billion, according to the UN. The number of people going hungry each day topped 1 billion for the first time last year, the UN said. It has since dropped to 925 million as the world recovers from economic recession.

Sheeran was in Washington meeting with the chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corp., Daniel Yohannes, signing a memorandum of understanding to expand partnerships in anti-poverty efforts. The two organizations have been collaborating in Ghana, and may extend to Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Mali and Senegal.

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