Posted by: APO | 20 June 2008

AfDB Conference on African Agriculture, Global Food Crisis

AfDB Conference on African Agriculture, Global Food Crisis

TUNIS, Tunisia, June 20, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The African Development Bank (AfDB) is to host an international conference on the revitalization of African agriculture in the face of the global food from 25 – 26 June in Tunis, Tunisia.

The ‘Conference on the Revitalization of Agriculture in Africa: Implications for Addressing the Food Crisis,’ will bring together senior representatives of African governments, multilateral institutions and donors to examine the challenges and opportunities in African agriculture in the face of the emerging global food crisis.

The conference will assess the current performance of African agriculture, emerging challenges, and new opportunities in the sector, the organizers said.

It will also identify ways in which African agriculture can improve food security, contribute to sustainable and equitable growth and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on the African continent.

The impact of the global food crisis on poverty in Africa, and its short and long-term implications for the African continent, will be the key area of focus.

“In particular, the discussions in the various sessions will emphasize past experiences, policies, institutions and programmes necessary to revitalize the agricultural sectors of African countries,” the conference organizers said in Tunis.

The recommendations of the conference will be discussed at a consultative conference to be held immediately afterward (26-27 June) in Tunis. Delegates to this conference will be drawn from several government ministers, representatives of multilateral developments banks including the AfDB and the World Bank, the United Nations system, bilateral donor agencies and private organizations including the Bill Gates and Rockefeller Foundations.

Pro-poor economic growth is vital to improved food security, marked reductions in poverty and the timely achievement of the MDGs. In many African countries, such broad-based growth is achieved through the agricultural sector which contributes substantially to GDP, employment, food security, trade and foreign exchange earnings.

Yet very little is still known about how best to promote pro-poor growth, especially through agriculture.

“In practice, many countries have not been able to take full advantage of the high potential of the agricultural sector due to the persistence of a variety of constraints. These include the low levels of technology, inadequate rural infrastructure, property rights that are unattractive to the private sector, persistence of government interventions in the sector, weak agricultural institutions including extension systems and research, widespread as well as high inequality in access to land, and limited access to credits for agricultural production.

“Overall, the emergence of the food crisis has generated the need to re-examine the performance and potential of the agricultural sector to address problems of poverty, the adequate supply of food and malnutrition on the continent,” the conference organizers said.

SOURCE : African Development Bank (AfDB)


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