KIGALI, (Xinhua) --
Delegates attending an African regional forum in
Rwanda’s capital Kigali have advocated for improved livelihood
and incomes of small-holder farmers across Africa.
conference that concluded on Wednesday recommended African
governments and development partners to renew and strengthen
efforts to support millions of vulnerable small-holder farmers
on the continent to improve and diversify their food production.
farmers are the most vulnerable when it comes to poverty, hunger
and starvation as they are ill-equipped with knowledge and
skills to improve their agricultural practices for increased
crop production,” said Jean-Marc Faures, senior program officer
for coordination of sustainable food and agriculture with Food
Agriculture Organization (FAO).
He added that
improving the livelihood of small-holder farmers is one of the
five goals of the Zero Hunger Challenge, a United Nations
program that calls on both public and private institutions to
scale up efforts to achieve 100-percent access to adequate food
all year round.
Geraldine Mukeshimana, Rwandan minister of agriculture,
improving farming methods of small-holder farmers should be put
at the center of the country’s growing economy.
“Rwanda has been
investing in key programs along the food value chains to
increase farm productivity and incomes for the poor communities
while safeguarding the environment,” she said.
At the meeting,
agriculturalists argued that hunger and poverty in Africa can be
eliminated if African economies create better opportunities for
farmers and focus on the needs of small-holder farmers.
FAO estimates that
233 million people in Africa were hungry and undernourished in
According to the
World Bank, there are an estimated 500 million small-holder
households globally, amounting to more than 2 billion people.
farmers cultivate less than 5 acres and make up a significant
portion of the world’s poor population, who live on less than 2
U.S. dollars a day.
senior economist in the Trade and Markets Division at FAO, said
that improving the lives of small-holder farmers should be a
priority in efforts to end global poverty.
lives of small-holder farmers requires enhancing their farming
skills in agribusiness and post-harvest management, value
addition and marketing,” he said.
organized by FAO, was aimed at discussing how the principles for
sustainable food and agriculture can promote joint action to
strengthen the contribution of agriculture, forestry and
fisheries to sustainable development.