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AIDS exacerbating food shortages in Africa

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Issue: 22 Section: International News Geography: Africa Topics: AIDS

September 30, 2004

AIDS exacerbating food shortages in Africa

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization is trying to bring attention to the devastating effect that the African AIDS crisis is having on the continent's ability to feed itself. Aside from depriving Africa of labourers, AIDS is killing many farmers before they can pass on to their children basic knowledge about traditional farming techniques. The FAO's study observed that farmers in Mozambique are cultivating less land and producing less food per acre than even a few years ago.

The FAO is working to adapt education programs targeted at adult farmers for the benefit of their orphaned children. These programs include teaching farmers about drought- and disease-resistant plants and modern farming techniques.

Unless existing AIDS treatments become widely accessible, many African nations are expected to lose up to 25% of their agricultural labour force to the disease within the next six years.

» Mail and Guardian: Aids threatens Africa's agriculture

» CBS: AIDS Hindering Africa Food Output

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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