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Posted Tue Jan 13 2009: from Bloomberg News:
Food Production Chaos Looms in Africa as Soil Quality Worsens
African farmers and climate change are combining to damage soil at a rate that may plunge the continent, home to about 1 billion people, into chaos as food production declines. “The situation is very severe and soil fertility is declining rapidly,” Jeroen Huising, a scientist who studies soils at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, or CIAT, said today in an interview. “Many countries like Kenya already don’t have enough food to feed their population and soil degradation is worsening an already critical situation.” Africa, where half the agricultural soil has lost nutrients necessary to grow plants, is hampered by a lack of information about soil conditions, Huising said. About 236 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, or one in three there, are chronically hungry, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
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