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July/August 2003

Announcement of a publication

Addressing the impact of HIV/AIDS on Ministries of Agriculture: Focus on eastern and southern Africa

by Daphne Topouzis

This joint FAO/UNAIDS study is the first to examine the full range of implications of HIV/AIDS for Ministries of Agriculture (MoAs) in eastern and southern Africa. The focus of analysis is smallholder agriculture as this has been affected most severely by the HIV epidemic.

Given that the mandate of most MoAs is to enhance agricultural production and promote food security, the adverse impacts of HIV/AIDS are of pivotal importance to their work. HIV/AIDS may not appear to have a significant impact on agricultural production and productivity at national level. However, its impact on a growing number of vulnerable smallholder farmers can be severe as these may suffer the combined loss of household labour, income, assets, knowledge and skills, with resulting threats to their livelihood as well as their food and nutrition security.

The systemic impact of HIV/AIDS and the magnitude of its scale are changing the environment in which MoAs operate, triggering or intensifying a number of structural changes in the smallholder sector in particular, including: long-term changes in farming systems (as household cultivation shifts from cash crops to subsistence crops and from labour-intensive to labour-extensive crops); and changes in the age structure and quality of the agricultural labour force as more elderly people and children assume a greater role in farming.

Click here to see the document in html or here for pdf format (698 KB).

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