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Driving efficiency and productivity in Africa`s agriculture sectors requires strategic partnerships, greater investments, and the power of digital technologies
Tuesday, 2024/04/23 | 08:28:11

33rd Session of the FAO Regional Ministerial Conference for Africa opens in Morocco

Figure: Ministers gather with FAO Director-General QU Dongyu at the 33rd Session of the FAO Regional Ministerial Conference for Africa. ©FAO/Eduardo Soteras

FAO NEWS 18/04/2024

Rabat - Hunger levels in Africa have increased in the past two years, due to lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing conflicts, the climate crisis and economic shocks, but the continent’s possibilities are vast and optimism about the opportunities that lie ahead is in order, QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), said today at the 33rd Session of the FAO Regional Ministerial Conference for Africa (ARC33).

“Africa boasts the largest area of arable land of any continent and is abundant in natural resources,” he said. “Africa’s young people offer extraordinary potential.”

Pushing forward on the regional agenda embodied in joint commitments such as the Maputo Declaration and Malabo Declaration will require charting a new course, together and now, to transform the continent’s agrifood systems, Qu said, calling for “strategic partnerships, greater investments, and harnessing the power of digital technologies to drive efficiency and productivity in Africa’s agriculture sectors.”

Hunger in Africa reached 19.7 percent in 2022, twice the global rate and up from 17 percent before the pandemic and up from an estimated 14.8 percent in 2012. Moreover, 868 million Africans, 61 percent of the population, did not have access to adequate food in 2022, and around 146 million people in 36 countries may have faced acute food security. (IPC3 or higher). At the same time, hunger rates vary enormously within Africa, with low rates in countries such as Algeria and Ghana and rates close to or even above 50 percent in others such as Madagascar and Central African Republic.

“You have to have and help farming,” said Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch of Morocco in his opening remarks, during which he outlined the Kingdom’s substantial multiyear investments in enhancing irrigation and water efficiency as well as other agrifood initiatives that have improved rural incomes. “Putting investment at the center of the farming equation” is also central to Morocco’s Green Generation plan promoted by King Mohammed VI, the prime minister said.

The ARC33 enables high-level consultations to identify key priorities in the Region to be taken into account in preparing FAO’s Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium.

See more https://www.fao.org/newsroom/detail/driving-efficiency-and-productivity-in-africa-s-agriculture-sectors-requires-strategic-partnerships--greater-investments--and-the-power-of-digital-technologies/en


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