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FAO Kenya Representative, Gabriel Rugalema talks about opportunities for Climate-Smart Agriculture in the region


16/05/2018

Nairobi - Day two of the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Summit began with a powerful opening address delivered by the FAO Representative to Kenya, Mr. Gabriel Rugalema.

"Africa is at risk of losing its biological richness to climate change; it’s effecting productivity, production and trades. Climate change is effecting agriculture’s ability to produce food and employment for the people of Africa and CSA can help agriculture continue in spite of climate change." 

He reminded participants that 2017 will be remembered as the highest and driest year on record and said that the summit was not only about the agriculture sector, but the other sectors and sub-sectors which its performance relies on, such as finance, water, research, infrastructure, insurance, transportation and packaging.

Aligned with the theme of the summit of partnerships, innovations and financing opportunities, Mr. Rugalema emphasized the need for all eclectic stakeholders (private sector, researchers, technology developers and civil societies) to come together.

"We need the media to communicate and educate communities about CSA. We need wider communication and understanding of CSA at the national, local and community level to enable partnerships, because partnerships make the impossible... possible.”

Since 2014, FAO Kenya has partnered with the Kenyan Government on Climate-Smart Agriculture and conservation agriculture to achieve food security. By March 2018, FAO and the Kenyan Government had already linked farmers to markets of USD 50 million. He highlighted areas for improvement in for example post-harvest losses. Mr. Rugalema emphasized the need for innovations in transportation, logistics, packing and harvesting.

Mr. Rugalema also congratulated the winner of the Climate Smart Agriculture Project of the Year Award, The Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture Project.  Rwanda Climate Services seeks to transform Rwanda’s farming communities and national economy through improved climate services. 

FAO participated in the summit by showcasing recent publications on its CSA work in the Exhibition Area at the conference centre. FAO Kenya Office celebrated 40 years this past year and FAO launched the second edition of the Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in November. On the FAO table in the Exhibition area there were FAO CSA Sourcebook Summary Booklets, an Infographic and information about FAO Kenya’s work across its counties.