Representatives from both the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and UN Environment highlighted the need to change African farming techniques to address food security concerns in the region.
Josef Kienzle, Leader of the Mechanisation task team at FAO commented:
“There is need for a paradigm shift on intensive crop production since the current methods applied cannot meet the challenges of the new millennium”
Josef also urged governments to invest in fertile land, pest upsurges, pollution and sustainable intensification.
“There is need to integrate sustainable mechanization in collaboration with the private sector to enhance productivity and profitability”
The use of agricultural tools that result in minimal soil disturbance, organic soil cover and diversification of crops would also benefit agricultural production.
Similarly, Richard Mungang, UN Environment Africa Climate Change Coordinator, called for an increase in climate smart agriculture to protect African farmers from climate change.
Climate change has the potential to reduce Africa’s economy by 75% if no measures are taken to adapt.
“With climate change in the picture, the negative challenges it poses in the agriculture sector will be compounded by multiple other problems that will lead to food insecurity in the continent”
In an exclusive interview with Aid & International Development Forum Richard emphasised the importance of climate smart agriculture.
Projections suggest that Africa’s agricultural sector will experience a 1 degree temperature rise, reducing crop revenue by 14%.
Richard added that climate smart agriculture could increase yields by 300%, helping to combat climate change.
“Once appropriately exercised, this model could potentially create as many as 17 million jobs annually for Africa’s youth and also catalyze an agro-sector projected to be worth 1 trillion US dollars by 2030”
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