ECA sues for regional mechanism to monitor food security in Africa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) – A senior official with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has underscored the need to establish an effective regional mechanism to monitor the food security status so that appropriate and timely actions are implemented to address current food crisis.

Adama Coulibaly, Chief, Agricultural Production Systems Section, Food Security and Sustainable Development Division at the ECA, expressed concern that Africa continues to fail to produce enough food to meet its fast-growing demands.

Coulibaly spoke Tuesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when he presented a paper for discussion on the “status of food security in Africa” at a meeting of the Committee on Food and Security and Sustainable Development and Regional Implementation for the 20th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

Coulibaly, who charged that addressing food insecurity in Africa remained a challenge, said strategic food reserves systems needed to be instituted in the region, especially in food insecurity hotspots so that emergencies could be swiftly and efficiently dealt with.

He said: “There is a wide agreement that the time has come for Africa to take actions and produce its own food to meet growing food demand.

“We need to put in place an effective regionally based early warning systems and food markets surveillance institutions. Building resilience and safety nets should be core elements in the design of policy responses to food insecurity in Africa."

He also emphasised the importance of paying particular attention to African smallholder farmers in effort to increase agricultural productivity and production.

The report shows that poverty, unemployment and underemployment have strong causal effects on food insecurity, poverty and hunger.

According to the figures in the report, cited from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) report, 216 million people were undernourished in sub-Saharan Africa between 2010 and 2012 with the highest being Ethiopia with 34 million people, Tanzania 18 million, Nigeria 14 million, Kenya 13 million and Uganda 12 million.

The three-day meeting which began Monday is discussing the main outcomes of Rio+20 and their implications for Africa.
-0- PANA MM/VAO 20Nov2012

20 november 2012 14:47:57




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