Challenges and innovations in achieving zero hunger and environmental sustainability through the lens of sub-Saharan Africa
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Achieving zero hunger by 2030 often raises the issue of environmental protection or sustainable social development among policy makers due to the environmental footprint of intensifying agricultural production across the continent. Sub- Saharan Africa (SSA) has one of the fastgrowing populations with more than half of the global growth between now and 2050. The challenge now lies in feeding the ever-growing population that is exerting pressure on the limited available resources. Doubling the agricultural productivity of small-scale farmers by 2030 (SDG 2.3) remains a daunting task for researcher and policy makers to address on the continent that now relies much on imports of food. Exploitation of the untapped massive land resources for agricultural production poses threats to sustainability. However, the challenges of global warming cannot be left out of this discussion since it has direct impact on future productivity on the continent. Climate change that has been projected to mostly affect the poorer countries also present trials to the food system through increased diseases and weather extremes of floods and droughts. Questions are yet to be answered on which tradeoffs and synergies if any need to be made to achieve zero hunger in Africa by 2030. This synopsis critically breaks down the conflicts, tradeoffs and synergies of how a continent with such massive agricultural production potential can navigate sustainably to achieve zero hunger, self-sufficiency and exports prospects while conserving the environment and natural resources. Evident deployment of new and improved technologies especially advanced biotechnology tools will be critical in achieving zero hunger by 2030. The adaptation needs of the continent are broad including institutional, social, physical and infrastructural needs, ecosystem services and environmental needs, and financial and capacity uncertain impacts.