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FAO urges African ministers to step up efforts in agriculture to end hunger in Africa

Working Session, left to right Abebe Haile-Gabriel (FAO), Sacko Josefa (AUC), Bukar Tijani (FAO), Hans Dreyer (FAO) - Photo: ©FAO

5 October 2017, Addis Ababa  - A high-level FAO delegation, led by Bukar Tijani, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, urged African Ministers in charge of agriculture, rural development, water and environment, to invest more in the agriculture sector to ensure national food self-sufficiency and mitigate existing and future food insecurity challenges.

Addressing the 2nd Specialised Technical Committee (STC) Ministerial meeting of the African Union, Bukar Tijani underlined that the number of hungry people in Africa is rising and vulnerability to shocks, induced by climate change, animal and plant diseases and pests, and conflicts has been widespread. “Building resilience and promoting value-chain development would end hunger and bring about a shared prosperity for Africa”, he remarked.

Mr. Tijani took this opportunity to reiterate FAO’s renewed commitment to support Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the African Union Commission (AUC) in the food and agriculture sector by investing financial and technical resources to intensify agricultural production. Specifically, Tijani highlighted the efforts that FAO, in collaboration with AUC, RECs and Member States, has accelerated towards coping with the challenges posed by the Fall Armyworm invasion in Africa.

"Thee Fall Armyworm is one of the emerging challenges which is jeopardizing the lives of millions of people who are struggling to come out of the grips of hunger and malnutrition; I call for an urgent intervention of donors and technical partners to support national governments, regional economic communities and the African Union Commission in their effort to manage the spread of the pest", he declared.

The 2nd STC Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment has deliberated on the theme ‘Enhancing Environmental Sustainability and Agricultural Transformation to Achieve Food Security and Nutrition in Advancing Agenda 2063’. It has also evaluated the Continental Biennial Review Report of the 2014 Malabo Commitments as well as the ‘Framework for Sustainable Management of Fall Armyworm in Africa’ that FAO has helped formulate.

The STC is an organ of the African Union that provides policy guidance and coordination on issues of agricultural and rural development, water and environment. Its recommendations and resolutions inform policy decisions at the AU Policy Organs, including the Executive Council and the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

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