Farm Ireland

Monday 22 January 2018

Ageing farm population obstacle to ending hunger

An ageing population is a major challenge to ending world hunger in one of the poorest regions of the world, a World Food conference in Dublin's Mansion House heard.

Dyborn Chibonga, the head of Malawi's Smallholder Farmers Association, said the average age of farmers in his country was 65, while Dr John Mutunga, who heads the two-million member Kenya Farmers Federation, reported close to 60 was the average in his country.

"Young people do not want to farm. They do not want to enter a life where long hours of manual labour with hand tools is the norm," Mr Chibonga told the conference organised by Gorta-Self Help Africa and Concern Worldwide.

Dr Jason Hinkel from the London School of Economics said claims that global hunger was being overcome were misleading.

He said defining poverty as those who live on under one US dollar a day was now being increasingly challenged.

He said the real measurement of poverty should actually be based on a figure closer to five US dollars a day.

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