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Oxfam urges African governments to invest more in small farms

The amount of malnourished people in Africa’s poorest countries is increasing despite enhanced food production, according to a recent Oxfam report

Research carried out by the global charity claimed more than 230mn people, or one-in-four Africans, living south of the Sahara are malnourished, a 38 per cent increase from two decades ago.

“More prominence should be given to the agricultural sector because that’s where the majority of the people live and that’s where the majority of the people get their income,” said Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva, who heads Oxfam’s research team in Britain.

“And once you improve their income, they will also improve their food security situation.”

Africa has experienced rapid growth in recent years with the continent's big improvements lying in food availability and nutritional health in many African countries.

Fuentes-Nieva insisted that Africa can produce the food it needs to reduce hunger and improve nutrition, if the farm sector gets the right help through national and international policies.

In the African sub-continent, 31 per cent are considered malnourished, up from 29 per cent at the start of the century.