The United Nations Environment Program says 200 million Africans go to sleep hungry. That number represents 23 percent of the population on the continent. A new UN study shows that eight out of 10 countries facing the worst food shortages are in Africa. Recently, African experts, farmers and others gathered in Kenya for two days of discussion. They debated ways to feed the growing human population in Africa and deal with rising temperatures on Earth's surface.
The UN's Climate Change Coordinator for Africa, Richard Munang, was one of the speakers. He noted a need to increase food production to feed the population. But he said it is important to find ways to feed people without destroying forests, rivers, and seas that provide food. At the meetings, Emmanuel Dlamini served as a negotiator for One Africa, a group that fights extreme poverty in Africa.
In his opinion, climate change is here to stay. He says African governments and farmers have to look for ways to deal with the changes. Most African countries depend on rain to prepare their farmland and to start growing crops. For the past few years, a lack of rainfall has affected several countries, making their populations dependent on food aid. African farmers say that a combination of unpredictable rain and rising temperatures creates an environment for crop diseases that affects production. The conference also heard from a representative of Nestle, one of the world's largest food companies. Nestle Africa's Hans Johr says farmers need assistance from food processing companies and nongovernmental organizations.
For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.