FAO urges for investments for resilience in the face of climate change

Africa’s food and agriculture sectors are among the most vulnerable to climate change, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Small scale food producers and their families have a livelihood dependent on rain-fed agriculture and are the most threatened by the problem. The best way to deal with it, according to the agency, is to increase people’s resilience. According to FAO, resilience with multiple threats, including climate change, is a fundamental requirement for sustainable development, in particular, the challenge of feeding more than 2 billion Africans by 2050.

Farmers harvest their crops near Kisumu, Kenya. Photo: Petr Kapuscinski / World Bank

“Farmers have always been innovators. What they need are policies that protect them and increase their resilience to climate change. They need access to information, technology, and investment, and they should be brought to the conversation on innovation,” FAO’s Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo said. According to the latest FAO data, hunger is on the rise in almost all parts of Africa, and the continent has the highest prevalence of undernourishment in the world, at almost 20 percent.

The situation, which is attributed mainly to conflict and climate change, is particularly acute in Eastern nations. About 30.8% of the population in this subregion, or 133 million people, has difficulty having enough to eat.

On Monday, a commitment was endorsed to better support African countries to accelerate progress towards improving food security. Based on the discussions at the conference it was found that it is possible to adapt to these risks with immediate and bold resilience actions.

The two-day event brought together about 250 people in the city of Kigali in Rwanda, including representatives from FAO, the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Bank. The aim of the event is to facilitate engagement between governments and key development partners to stimulate unified action for Africa’s agriculture and food systems in response to climate change.