By Nevson Mpofu
The 31st Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] -Regional Conference for Africa Ministerial session which kicked on in Harare hosted and done on a virtual platform and coordinated from Ghana Regional office working with head offices in Italy Rome.
It drew 80 Ministers and Deputy Ministers from 45 countries in the African Region. Also invited were Agriculture civil society organizations, private sector in Agriculture and members from observer countries. The Agricultural and Rural Transformation in Africa conference has the theme ..Promoting Inclusive Agri-Business and Regional Integration for attainment of Sustainable Development Goals …
President Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed delegates on Tuesday 27 October this week urging African countries to rally behind Sustainable Agriculture and rural transformation in the region so as to promote development of Agro-based industries. He noted that Intra-Trade in Agriculture is the way-forward in addressing food production and productivity meant to address food security issues so as to end hunger and poverty.
‘’Agriculture and rural transformation in Africa must be a priority area of concern in terms of Agricultural and Economic development to end, hunger and poverty in Africa especially during this climate change era’’.
‘’ This is only possible through the promotion of inclusive Agriculture Business and Regional Integration for attainment of Sustainable Development Goals. Our main thrust is to push for effort in alleviating effects of climate change so as to win on Sustainable Development Goal 2 on Zero Hunger by 2030. Secondly to meet African Union targets on food security and nutrition. by 2025.’’
President Mnangagwa highlighted on the need for new mechanisms in the development of new Agricultural technologies that boost large scale Agricultural productivity. He further pointed out that digitalization of Africa in Agriculture is the only way to adapt to changes and adopt policies and strategies that propel the strengthening of Agricultural systems. Road and Air networks, he stretches a point are an infrastructure meant to connect rural to urban in-order to develop Agriculture for economic transformation.
‘’Africa has potential in Agriculture if it reinforces mechanisms that link technologies and digitalization of Agriculture of economic transformation. This is possible through regional integration in Agriculture and regional economic community’s co-operation. This results in Agri-based industrial growth and development of Africa.’’
FAO Director General Qu-Dongyu said Agriculture systems transformation must address socio-political, economic and environmental concerns at the heart of the people of Africa. The development must match with the Malabo Declaration on Agriculture that has a holistic framework of Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program.
‘’Agriculture systems transformation must address socio-political, economic and environmental concerns in Africa. This shows commitment to the Malabo Declaration on Agricultural Transformation with the framework of comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Plan.
‘’A frica remains a threat to Climate -Change of which we need to fight through mitigation and adaptation in order to remain sustainable. We have had challenges in Africa. These are a big threat as we move on but let us remain vigilant to some disasters that may come.’’
‘’Africa needs modalities to fight Climate-Change in order to over come several challenges related to food-security. This can be done through mobilization of resources to come up with innovation that suits an environment meant to promote Agriculture. Mechanisms must be in place to move towards an Agricultural modernization that has production and productivity for economic growth.’’ , he concluded .