FANRPAN Annual High Level Regional Food Security Policy Dialogue 2010

Background

Welcome to the FANRPAN Annual High Level Regional Food Security Policy Dialogue 2010

After years of being ignored, livestock and fisheries issues are making a positive return on Africa’s development agenda. Livestock and fisheries are being recognised as:

  • essential assets for livelihoods
  • key to moving out of poverty
  • ways into lucrative markets
  • sources of foreign exchange
  • important cultural resources
  • social safety nets
  • means of saving

Livestock contribute 40 percent of the global value of agricultural output and support the livelihoods and food security of almost a billion people. Whilst in Africa, the fish sector makes a vital contribution to meeting the food and nutrition security needs of 200 million Africans and provides income for over 10 million engaged in the production, processing and trade in this industry. Moreover, fish has become a leading export commodity, with an annual export value of US$ 2.7bn. The NEPAD Action Plan for the Development of African Fisheries and Aquaculture is a strategic response to address the challenges facing the fish sector as the over-exploitation of natural fish stocks is reaching unsustainable limits. Aquaculture production has not yet fulfilled its potential. The Plan calls for urgent strategic investments to safeguard the future contribution of Africa’s fish sector to poverty alleviation, food and nutrition security, and regional economic development.

Agricultural systems are undergoing dramatic transformations - environmental, economic and social. Global environmental change is altering the climate, land and water resources, and biodiversity which form the foundation of agricultural productions systems. At the same time this is transforming production, consumption and trade though socio-economic and technological changes. Small-scale rain-fed farming systems, pastoralist systems, inland and coastal fishing and aquaculture communities, and forest-based systems are particularly vulnerable to climate change. So is the urban poor, particularly in coastal cities and floodplain settlements face increasing risks.

Although communities have managed to develop coping mechanisms in the past, the current speed of climate change requires anticipatory and planned adaptation and thus adaptation should be highly location specific. The safest approach is to promote diverse and flexible livelihood and food production strategies at local, national, regional and global levels in combination with flexible and robust institutions, risk reduction initiatives for food and feed, and planned food security adaptation and transformation. The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) form a necessary backdrop to integrating adaptation into development policy.

Given this renewed emphasis and challenges facing the livestock and fisheries sector in Africa, the 2010 FANRPAN Annual Regional Dialogue will speak to the theme:

“Livestock & Fisheries Policies for Food Security and Trade in a Changing Climate”