Agriculture in Africa still depends on the vagaries of rainfall for about 93% of cultivated land with little or no irrigation. It is also characterised by problems linked to low soil productivity, very extensive production systems, land degradation, low yields, pestinduced pre- and post-harvest losses, absence of disease and drought-resistant seed varieties.
Most farming communities are still trapped into low input/low output agricultural practices, barely above subsistence level. Institutional arrangements, policy formulation and the available statistical information base, need to be addressed. Harnessing water resources is a major priority. Integrated natural resources management must also be pursued vigorously to increase productivity, lead to appropriately diversified production systems and ensure sustainable agriculture, livestock, forestry and fisheries development, with attention to meeting increasing food demand for both domestic consumption and exports.
FAO efforts on climate change are oriented to implement the Emergency, prevention system for transboundary animal, plant pest and diseases (EMPRES), and the promotion of efficient wood base energy production.
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