FANRPAN Annual High Level Regional Food Security Policy Dialogue 2010

Annual Policy Dialogue on Food Security opens

  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /var/www/sites/dialogue2010.fanrpan.org/sites/all/modules/date-6.x-2.4/date/date/date.theme on line 255.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /var/www/sites/dialogue2010.fanrpan.org/sites/all/modules/date-6.x-2.4/date/date/date.theme on line 260.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /var/www/sites/dialogue2010.fanrpan.org/sites/all/modules/date-6.x-2.4/date/date/date.theme on line 261.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /var/www/sites/dialogue2010.fanrpan.org/sites/all/modules/date-6.x-2.4/date/date/date.theme on line 255.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /var/www/sites/dialogue2010.fanrpan.org/sites/all/modules/date-6.x-2.4/date/date/date.theme on line 260.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /var/www/sites/dialogue2010.fanrpan.org/sites/all/modules/date-6.x-2.4/date/date/date.theme on line 261.
1 September 2010
Aubrey Mchulu
Source: 
Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa Terraviva

WINDHOEK – Africa needs home-grown solutions to its problems, agricultural economist Dr Ponniah Anandajayasekeram said in Windhoek, Namibia Tuesday.

Delivering a keynote address to more than 200 delegates at the 2010 Annual High-Level Regional Food Security Policy Dialogue in the Namibian capital, Anandajayasekeram said the African continent should seek help that allows it to help itself deal with challenges such as achieving food security at both household and national levels.

He observed that the public sector holds a key role in building Africa’s agriculture.

“Long-term investment is also needed in agriculture and livestock development,” said Anandajayasekeram.

The Annual Policy Dialogue, this year held from 30 August to 3 September, is organised by the Food Agri- culture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), a network bringing together governments, researchers and farmers to produce evidence-based analysis for improving agriculture.

Policymakers, farmers, agricultural product dealers, scientists and non-governmental organizations from all over the continent have gathered in the Namibian capi- tal to address African priorities on climate change and its impact on food security, agricultural development and natural resources management.

Berean Mukwende said he would never miss a gather- ing that addresses agriculture and its policies in the way the annual Dialogue does.

“This is a policy platform which we wish to influence,” said Mukwende.

“Whether we are invited or not, we jump in. Because whatever is being talked about affects us as farmers. The business of farming is changing and things such as new technological methods and climate change cannot be taken lightly, unless we want to go out of business.”

Mukwende is the deputy president of the Zimbabwe Farmers Union, the country’s oldest and biggest farmers’ union. The majority of its members are small-scale farmers.

Zimbabwe is trying to emerge from the near-collapse of the country’s agricultural sector, following a controver- sial land redistribution programme that saw many white- owned farms occupied through land invasions.

Mukwende said many of those who took over farms had no idea what the business of farming entailed.

“They have since left,” he said, “leaving behind real black farmers who know and understand agricul- ture. Today tobacco production has more than doubled. We are doing well.”

Touching on a themes running through FANRPAN’s work, he said more research is needed to help farmers get early warnings and be able to adapt to climate change.

The 2010 Policy Dialogue focuses on livestock & fisheries policy in the context of a changing climate. The president of Namibia, Hifikepunye Pohamba, was presented with an award for his country’s achievements in building a profitable fishery recognised internationally as a model of sustainability.