Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, October 29, 2018

Strengthening sustainable food and nutrition security in Africa

Yemi Akinbamijo, Prof. El Dukheri, Mr. Mphumuzi Sukati
22 - 26 October 2018. KICC,Nairobi, Kenya. The 2018 RUFORUM Biennial conference overall theme was “Aligning African Universities to accelerate attainment of Africa’s Agenda 2063”

26 October 2018. Panel debate Strengthening sustainable food and nutrition security in Africa
Food and nutrition security remain Africa’s most fundamental challenges for human welfare and economic growth. Far too many people on the continent are unable to acquire and effectively utilize at all times the food they need for a healthy life. Because of low food availability and profound poverty, an estimated 200 million people on the continent are undernourished, and their numbers are on the increase by an estimated 20% since the last two decades. 

The result is that more than a third of African children are stunted in their growth and must face a range of physical and cognitive challenges not faced by their better-fed peers. Undernutrition is the major risk factor underlying over 28% of all deaths in Africa (some 2.9 million deaths annually)

  • The continuing human costs of inadequate food and nutrition are enormous
  • and the aggregate costs of food and nutrition insecurity at the national level impose a heavy burden on efforts to foster sustained economic growth and improved general welfare.
This Session on Food and Nutritional Security in Africa built on previous efforts to catalyze action towards accelerated and sustained attainment of the ARNS 2015 – 2025 objectives and the on-going dialogue on “Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020: Prioritizing Actions, Strengthening Actors and Facilitating Collaboration”.

Specifically, the session :
  • Presented and discussed selected case studies on the status of food and nutritional security in Africa. 
  • Generated context specific actions needed to address food and nutrition insecurity in Africa.
  • Assessed the status of implementation of the ARNS 2015 – 2025 and indeed STISA 2024 Priority One on reducing poverty and reducing food and nutrition security in relation to National, sub-regional and global frameworks on food security and nutrition, especially STISA 2024 Priority One. 
  • Developed recommendations and modalities that will accelerate implementation of actions in the ARNS 2015 – 2025 and achievement of STISA 2024 Priority One 
  • Moderator: Dr. Habiba Hassan-Wassef, Medical Doctor and Nutrition Expert, Egypt
    Introduction by highlighting the overall question to be addressed “why Africa attainment of food and nutrition security remains elusive for Africa, and what needs to be done in the short and longterm?”
  • Lead Speaker: Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director, FARA
    Case studies on Global and National level successes and failures in the fight against Food and Nutritional Security: Is the Malabo Declaration helping? What key actions are needed? 
  • Prof. El Dukheri, Director General, Arab Organisation for Agricultural Development
    What are key measures that will help buffer food and nutritional security in Africa? What role could Arab-Africa partnership play on this?
  • Mr. Mphumuzi Sukati, FAO Regional Office for Africa
    What are the current nutritional challenges and capacity gaps that should be addressed in support of actions towards better nutritional security for Africa?
  • Prof. Lise Korsten, Co-Director of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security, University of Pretoria, South Africa
    What resources can Africa leverage to better the food and nutrition status?

  • Professor Anselimo Makokha, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya 
    How can we effectively mobilize political action to support efforts for food security and nutritional issues in Africa: Experiences from FAO?
  • Dr. Mary Shawa, Principal Secretary of Ministry Gender, Children, Disabilities and Social Welfare in Malawi.
PAEPARD video interview with Prof. El Dukheri, Director General, Arab Organisation for Agricultural Development (AOAD). He answers following questions:
  • What is the new business of delivery of the AOAD? 
  • Can the pocessing of orphan crops in North Africa create jobs?

Related: 19 March 2018, Abu Dhabi. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reaffirmed its support to date palm production and development in the Near East region, including tackling the threat of Red Palm Weevil and improving the date palm value chain.
  • The date palm is a symbol of life in the Near East and North Africa region. It is critical to the food security of the people who depend on it thanks to its unique nutritional properties. The date palm also plays a significant role in the economies of countries in the region, which includes the top 10 date-producing countries, representing 90% of the global date production.
  • FAO has also renewed its alliance with the Arab Organization for Agriculture Development (AOAD) and the Khalifa Award Secretariat for the protection and sustainable development of the date palm value chain.
30 October 2018. Cairo. Agricultural cooperation can help develop Egypt's relations with Africa, said Ezzedine Abu Stait. Addressing the African affairs committee of parliament, the Egyptian agriculture minister said President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi pays particular attention to relations with Africa, noting that Egypt is now back to lead the continent after a period of marginalization. He said there are eight Egyptian model farms in eight African countries, noting that his Ministry plans to have a total of 22 farms across the continent by 2020.
  • Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea, Tanzania, Zambia, and Congo have established pilot model farms with areas ranging between 500 and 600 acres.
  • Egypt provides the necessary technology for the development of agriculture in these countries and exports seed varieties that are environmentally compatible with the climate of each country, while those countries provide infrastructure, water resources, and labour for agriculture. 
  • These projects can accommodate Egyptian workers, in addition to the possibility of providing agricultural crops cheaply to the Egyptian market
  • Egyptian imports from COMESA countries include tea, coffee, cocoa beans, tobacco, sesame, raw leather, vegetable and aromatic extracts, and live camels.
  • The cost of transport to COMESA countries is 15-20% more than the cost of shipping to African or Arab states, which hinders agricultural cooperation between Egypt and these countries.

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