Partnerships for food security in Africa

July 31, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UN-sponsored meeting on food security in Africa: a comprehensive strategy that combines research, extension and policy support

Food insecurity in Africa is severe and widespread – but could be addressed with better regional coordination and more effective use of available technologies. This was the view of delegates at the Expert Group Meeting on Food security in Africa: key challenges, opportunities and policy options, organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

The meeting, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 14-15 July, brought together scientists, development experts and policy makers from every region in Africa. Dr Mahmoud Solh, ICARDA Director General, representing the CGIAR, chaired the first technical session, The global food crisis: experiences and lessons learned for food security in Africa; and also made a presentation highlighting the role of science and technology in enhancing food security in the context of climate change. Dr Solh presented examples of collaborative research by ICARDA and its partners, that could help transform smallholder agriculture in dry areas across Africa.

Speakers at the meeting stressed the importance of farmer-participatory research and a regional focus – which have always been central to ICARDA’s approach. They agreed that a food security strategy for Africa should include research to reduce yield gaps, establishment of early-warning systems, and policy support and market development to encourage technology dissemination.

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