FAO urges policy shift to end hunger

Posted on July, 17, 2017 at 10:50 am


The UN food agency on Thursday called on countries in the Horn of Africa region to embark on radical overhaul of agricultural policies coupled with targeted investments in climate resilience in order to contain endemic food insecurity.

The UN food agency on Thursday called on countries in the Horn of Africa region to embark on radical overhaul of agricultural policies coupled with targeted investments in climate resilience in order to contain endemic food insecurity.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative in Kenya Gabriel Rugalema said that robust policy frameworks, increased funding and technology adoption were required to enhance food production in the Horn of African region amid harsh climatic conditions.

“The Horn of African region is facingthe worst food crisis in recent history butthe situation can be reversed if countriesexplore new policies, technologies andinnovations to enhance resilience offarming and pastoralism,” said Rugalema.He spoke in Nairobi during a forum onending hunger in the Horn of Africa thatwas attended by representatives fromgovernments, multilateral agencies andacademia.

The UN Office on Coordination ofHumanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in its latestupdate said an estimated 26 million peopleare food insecure in the greater Horn ofAfrican region.

Rugalema noted that climatic shocks,outdated agricultural policies and underinvestmentsin resilience projects haveundermined efforts to feed a growingpopulation in the region.

“Impacts of drought are still being feltin a huge swathe of the Horn of Africanregion. The twin challenge of urbanizationand rapid population growth have alsoadversely impacted on food and nutritionsecurity,” Rugalema said.

He added that technology-drivenagriculture accompanied by streamlining of key value chains like storage, distributionand marketing is key to end the hungercrisis in the region.

“We must invest more resources andexpertise in soil health, proper crophusbandry, storage and market access as we and malnutrition in this
region,” said Rugalema.Patrick Kormawa, the FAO Sub Regional Coordinator,said that enhancing productivity in the agricultural sectorin the region hinges on reformed policies, investments inirrigation, research and improved storage.

“Governments and the business sector should alsoinvest in the infrastructure to promote value addition andmarketing of farm produce,” Kormawa remarked.He added that political goodwill is key to hastenimplementation of a continental pact signed by AfricanLeaders in June 2014 to end hunger and malnutrition by2025.chart a new roadmap to eradicate hunger.

Source: IPP Media