53rd SADC PLENARY ASSEMBLY SESSION: Samia roots for food security

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan on Monday offered the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states tips of becoming food secure.

The Head of State rooted for the commitment to the implementation of various policies and as the 2014 SADC Region Agriculture Policy, Food production through inputs support programmes and promotion of intra-SADC trade.

Dr Samia, who speaking shortly before opening the 53rd Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum further underscored the importance of African Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA), blue economy and conservation agriculture with a  view of building resilience and making the regional economic bloc food secure.

“We have come up with a raft of measures, yet we fall short  of implementing them, it is high time we get back to the drawing board and put them to good use for food production,” urged the president.

She further challenged the inter-governmental organisation to endeavor in committing itself to implement the Agenda 2063, which is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming the continent into the global powerhouse of the future.

“The focus should be on goal number which stresses on modern agriculture for increased productivity and production as well as goal number two of the Sustainable Development Goals, that intend to attain Zero Hunger by 2030,” she counseled.

With a population of about 380 million, SADC is said to be a home to 51.3 million of food insecure people as per 2020/21 estimation, representing an increase of 25.7 per cent from that of 2019/20 in a space of just one year.

“This is unacceptable when we have 9.85 million square kilometres of land, which could meet the regional food basket for Africa and beyond,” she said.

Similarly, the president underscored the importance of lawmakers in the quest of creating a food secure continent.

She said: “And so, in order to overcome imaginary challenges and realise our goals, we cannot underestimate the significance of national and regional Parliaments.”

Dr Samia insisted that legislators have a critical role to play in its oversight role, enactment of much needed laws, policies and ratification of regional and global protocols that encourage agriculture development.

The president equally reminded the delegates drawn from SADC members the need of investing in the youth in assuring a food secure continent.

Dr Samia informed the 53rd  Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum that Tanzania devised a number of strategies to attract the youth into agriculture, namely the Building a Better Tomorrow (BBT), an initiative that provides a framework for coordination of projects supporting youth in agribusiness across Tanzania.

“As a government, we are facilitating youth with the access to land, financial support, technology, market opportunity and capacity enhancement in a bid to attract the youth to indulge in investing and working in agriculture,” she expounded.

According to the president, around 812 young men and women are currently on on-job training, waiting to be enrolled in 13 incubation centres for hands on skills on agribusiness and block farming systems.

She further assured the delegates that Tanzania is committed to increase budgetary allocation for the agriculture sector over the years with special emphasis on irrigation schemes and extension services, per the 2004 Dar es Salaam Declaration on agriculture and food security.

Earlier on, SADC-PF President Roger Mancienne commended President Samia for a leadership that demonstrates a robust belief, further heaped praise on the country for hosting the forum for the fourth time.

“What you’ve done in bringing us here today, demonstrates Tanzania’s commitment to pursue inter parliamentary cooperation across the SADC region under the auspices of the forum, to which we belong,” added Mr Mancienne, who is also Speaker of National Assembly of Seychelles.

During the forum, Members of Parliament from SADC national parliaments are expected to deliberate on prompt implementable measures on food insecurity and youth unemployment in line with climate change impacts towards agriculture, consider adaptation strategies that can be achieved by SADC Member Parliaments on substantial gains to sustainable agriculture that can influence food security and youth employment creation, amongst others.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button