Family farmers key to eradicate hunger in Africa

Investment in the enhancement of agricultural productivity and engagement of youth, smallholder and family farmers are among the key priority areas identified by the FAO Regional Conference for Africa to accelerate agricultural transformation and eradicate hunger in the region.

Delegates reaffirmed their commitment to agricultural development and family farming during the Regional Conference for Africa held last week, which brought together ministers of agriculture and senior government officials from FAO member countries in the region as well as members of the civil society and partners.

Achieving these priorities depends on sharing knowledge and experiences related to policy development and programme implementation in order to define lessons learnt and best practices for the future. Recognizing the role of agriculture in addressing interconnected challenges related to rural economy and socio-economic development is also of great importance.

The regional conference requested member states to intensify their efforts to address the challenges faced by family farmers in relation to productivity, income and food security. These efforts include sustained investment in agricultural research, support to farmer organizations and cooperatives to achieve economies of scale, development of financial instruments, targeted social protection programmes and risk management instruments to increase resilience. The integration of nutrition goals and nutrition-sensitive agriculture into agriculture sector plans was also mentioned as well as increased public investments in agriculture.

FAO will continue to support member countries and regional economic communities in strengthening their capacities to respond to local priorities as well as risk management and climate change.  These include strengthening market integration, analysis and dissemination of the procedures and methods for estimating public expenditures allocated to the agriculture sector, improving the formulation and implementation of legal frameworks governing land tenure and promoting research and technology development.