While in Africa, Secretary Clinton has accepted questions submitted online and via text message. Lazarus from Georgia wrote:"As an American who was born in Uganda, I would like to know what the U.S. is doing to deal with the food shortage in many Sub-Saharan countries."
Secretary Clinton responded: "This is an important question. Agriculture in Africa has been held back for decades by wars that have forced farmers to flee their fields, by diseases that too often strike the young and the strong, by climate change which has caused droughts and floods that destroyed cropland, as the people of East Africa know too well. Farmers in Africa have also faced lack of investment from the private sector as well as governments and the global community, while technologies that have helped farmers in other parts of the world haven’t yet been adapted to the extent necessary to Africa’s needs. Together, these challenges have eroded the foundation of African agriculture.
The United States is committed to help strengthen the entire agricultural chain here in Africa and around the world. We think that is a critical tool for promoting economic growth and integrating Africa into the regional economy. We are convinced that investing in agriculture is one of the most high-impact cost-effective strategies available for reducing poverty and saving and improving lives. That’s why we have made this a signature element of our nation’s foreign policy. We do not seek to impose a one-size-fits-all approach. We will partner with individual countries to help them develop their own strategies for reform. We will work with partners outside government, including NGOs, foundations, and universities to provide coordination, minimize duplication, and maximize results.
In Nairobi, I was very pleased to visit our partners at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), where African scientists are developing tools to boost productivity of Africa’s farms – part of a broad strategy to strengthen the entire agricultural sector, to increase income, to support rural communities, and to drive economic growth."
Read Secretary Clinton's answers to other frequently asked questions here. The Secretary will continue to accept questions about her travel to Africa as the trip continues. You may ask a question online or via text: U.S. 90822 | Non-U.S.: 202-255-6299.