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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

African officials urge investments in climate smart agriculture

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- There is need for African governments, multilateral agencies and private sector to prioritize investments in climate resilient farming that promise food security and higher incomes for rural people, officials said on Thursday.

Speaking at a side event in the ongoing Africa Green Revolution Forum in Nairobi, the officials were emphatic that African states had no option but to adopt farming systems that can withstand climatic shocks that have escalated in the continent.

Kenya’s Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary, Eugene Wamalwa noted that strategic policy and funding interventions were an imperative to cushion African agriculture from adverse impacts of climate change.

“African countries must adequately invest in food production systems that can resist the negative impacts of climate change that include droughts, flooding and virulent crop diseases,” Wamalwa said.

The sixth Africa Green Revolution Forum taking place in Nairobi has devoted significant attention to climate smart agriculture that would shield rural smallholders from food insecurity, poverty and environmental vagaries.

Wamalwa said that African leaders, policymakers, researchers and farmers’ organizations have endorsed a continental strategy to promote scaling up of climate smart agriculture.

“What is required now is speedy implementation of national programs to promote climate resilient farming in this continent. It heralds food and nutritional security and higher incomes for rural farmers,” said Wamalwa.

Kenya has pioneered groundbreaking climate smart farming systems in different agro-ecological zones to enhance food security in the face of extreme weather events.

Wamalwa noted that adoption of irrigated farming, agro-forestry and non tillage farming has boosted food security against a backdrop of climatic stresses.

“We have leveraged on financing and technical capacity to expand irrigated farming in drought prone regions. Our smallholders are being encouraged to practice climate smart agriculture using locally available innovations,” Wamalwa said.

UNEP’s Director, Regional office for Africa, Juliette Biao said that investment in ecosystems restoration, irrigation and modern weather forecast tools will shield African smallholders from hunger and water scarcity occasioned by climate change.

“Some of the cost effective methods of scaling up climate smart agriculture in Africa include restoration of degraded ecosystems, organic farming, water harvesting and storage,” Biao said.

She added that UNEP is providing technical capacity to African countries to enable them scale up climate smart agriculture.

African governments must create enabling policy and regulatory environment to facilitate adoption of technologies and innovations that promote climate resilient food production.

           

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