FAO Regional Office for Africa

This regional initiative focuses on sustainable intensification of production and the associated measures needed to address post-production issues, including better handling, processing and distribution, improved food quality and safety, and facilitating access to markets.

An inclusive and sustainable transformation of the food and agriculture sector should be linked with the capacity to generate employment for youth and to engage young men and women as the agro-entrepreneurs of Africa.

Sustainable production intensification and value chain development in Africa

In Sub-Saharan Africa, agricultural production and productivity continue to be lower than the global average; and with the rapidly growing population there is an urgent need to, and enormous potential for, closing the production gap.

Regional Office for Africa’s Regional Initiative 2 takes a food systems approach with two integrated components, namely sustainable production intensification and inclusive value chain development, with special consideration of gender, youth, governance, and climate change.

Regional Initiative 2 supports agricultural transformation in Africa and aims to make nutritious food accessible to everyone, and at the same time, manage natural resources to preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Through promoting climate smart agriculture, technology transfer, mechanization, and greater access to markets and trade, RI2 is supporting countries to achieve their nationally determined commitments on climate change, diversify agriculture, and increase competitiveness using an inclusive value chain approach. From a socio-geographic context, migration of large numbers of Africans are moving to urban centers creating enhanced rural to urban value chains and a large demand for processed food. Agricultural transformation supported by RI2 also contributes to poverty reduction, in and around urban centers, creating economic and livelihood opportunities for youth and women and allowing farmers, pastoralists, fisher-folks, and foresters to benefit financially from this food systems transformation.

To achieve inclusive and sustainable transformation in food and agriculture, FAO is focusing on developing capacity to generate youth employment and to engage youth as agro-entrepreneurs of Africa, making employment in the agriculture sector both desirable and profitable.

How FAO changed people’s lives

Bluefashion: Rather than letting fish skin go to waste, fishers near Lake Turkana, Kenya started to reutilize the skin of Nile perch and turned it into high fashion material. Read More

Christine from Rubavu District of Rwanda has started to reap much more than her family could consume following FAO’s Farmer Field and Life School (FFLS) training. Now Christine’s children are back to school after being able to afford school materials and furthermore, she will start commercial farming from next season. Read More

Hawa, who lives in a camp for displaced people in Bassaso, Somalia, now provides sun-dried fish to her family and community after learning how to process fish through FAO trainings. Sun-dried fish are a reliable source of food for longer term as these fish can last up to six months without requiring storing in a fridge. Read More

How FAO supported the legal and strategic frame for change

  • Mainstreaming of Sustainable Food and Agriculture in the Implementation of the SDGs in the context of Malabo Declaration
  • Formulation, implementation and reporting of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) within the Paris Agreement with partners
  • Healthy and safe production systems through consumable and capital agricultural inputs and innovative practices
  • Natural resource sensitive, climate smart agro-ecological practices to improve agricultural production and food and nutrition security
  • Ecosystem management through landscape restoration and sustainable use of biodiversity to mitigate risks and increase resilience across agricultural and environmental systems
  • Global knowledge products on sustainable agriculture, NDC implementation and climate change
  • Supporting of Africa level commissions in fisheries, forestry, wildlife, and climate change

Way forward:

The Regional Initiative 2 will focus on strengthening sustainable food and agriculture systems, promotion of innovative and climate smart practices, post-harvest management and inclusive value-chain development through promoting public-private partnerships and supporting judicious management and responsible utilization of natural resources.

The Initiative will also support countries in the integration of SDGs and climate actions, as well as themes of decent youth employment and migration in their national policies and development plans.