AGRA appeals for action on climate change effects in agriculture

PRESIDENT of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Dr Agnes Kalibata, has called upon AGRF’s partners to take action on climate change in agriculture for the sake of high production of food crops and productivity.

Dr Kalibata made the plea yesterday at a press conference on the sideline of the ongoing Africa’s Food Systems Forum 2023 in Dar es Salaam. The press conference also involved Tanzania’s Agriculture Minister Hussein Bashe.

“What we need to see from members is for them to take action on climate change in agriculture,” Dr Kalibata stated.

Climate change is emerging as a major challenge to agriculture development in Africa. The increasingly unpredictable and erratic nature of weather systems on the continent have placed an extra burden on food security and rural livelihoods.

Widespread destruction of farms and homes in recent record flooding in Burkina Faso and the prolonged drought in Ethiopia, demonstrate the extent of the threat posed by Africa’s changing climate.

She further wondered how African countries were successfully trading with countries outside the continent but performed poorly in intra-trade of agricultural products.

“Why trading outside is possible and not within the continent? We buy food from outside the continent that our farmers can produce. Can we start what we can do, you should understand that this sector can produce jobs for our youth,” she asked.

On his part, Minister Bashe said for smallholder farmers to improve production, they need good policies and infrastructures.

He noted that low participation of youth in agriculture was a result of perception which has been built on previous narration of agriculture, whereby it was related to an activity for just putting food on the table.

“It was unfortunate that the issue of wealth creation has not been narrated, it was forgotten,” he added.

Among other measures adopted by the government to address this was to introduce the Grant and Soft Loans scheme for the youth in the agriculture value chain where they can engage in processing and packaging of agricultural produce.

“When the youth see their fellows in agriculture prosper, they would also be attracted to engage, this is a way of attracting them in the agriculture,” he said.

He also clarified that the 2023 AGRF is not about discussing Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) in agriculture, but is all about transforming food systems from the production to the market.

Related Articles

Back to top button