African leaders renew pledge to end hunger, malnutrition
African heads of state and government have renewed commitment to eradicate hunger and malnutrition that has derailed socio-economic progress on the continent.
Speaking at the High-Level Dialogue on Feeding Africa virtual forum on Thursday, the leaders said it was possible for the continent to achieve hunger-free status, subject to the transformation of agricultural systems through leveraging on technology, financing, irrigation and improved post-harvest management.
President Macky Sall of Senegal said Africa’s ability to achieve food and nutrition security hinged on scaling up climate-smart farming combined with access to capital, markets and technology for smallholder farmers.
“Establishing resilient food systems in the continent is imperative given the hunger and malnutrition crisis that has been worsened by climate change and Covid-19 pandemic,” said Sall.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad), in partnership with the Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) and the CGIAR System Organization, co-organized the event.
Food security agenda
President of AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina, said the aim of the two-day forum which was from Thursday, was to galvanize political goodwill required to revitalize the food security agenda in a continent where about 246 million people suffer from hunger.
“The continent must scale up efforts to feed its growing population while promoting environmental sustainability,” said Adesina.
“Strong and accountable political leadership, policy reforms, investing in research, technology and innovations is key to transform farming systems and boost crop yield,” he added.
Adesina said that empowering African small-holder farmers who produce nearly 80 percent of food on the continent should be at the heart of hunger eradication programmes.
Edited by Olajumoke Adeleke