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African countries urged to embrace smart agriculture

KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
AFRICAN countries must embrace climate smart agriculture practices if the continent is to attain food security and nutrition in the face of climate change, says New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) Director of Programmes Estherine Fotabong.
Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is a practice of agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, resilience and adaptation, as well as contributing towards reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.
During the launch of the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance, which is the first continental platform following the 2014 Malabo Declaration for mainstreaming climate change in agriculture, Ms Fotabong said African countries must build capacity at all levels, especially for smallholder farmers and institutions in order to attain the goal of 25 million African farmers practising climate-smart agriculture by 2025.
According to a statement released yesterday by the NEPAD Secretariat, Ms Fotabong, who was speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said the Africa CSA alliance needs to recognise interventions that respond to both the challenges and opportunities that climate change brings.
“In order to make rural transformation attainable, climate change needs to also be mainstreamed in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which is Africa’s instrument for agricultural growth and economic development,” she stated.
Officiating at the launch, Ethiopian State Minister for Agriculture, Sileshi Getahun stated that Africa CSA Alliance provides an opportunity to take concrete action in climate change for the benefit of African agriculture.
Minister for Women, Children and Youth Affairs, Zenevu Tadesse called on governments, civil society and the private sector to support local systems and expand to scale up climate-smart agriculture.
And Minister Councillor Tove Stub of the Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa, emphasised that Africa CSA Alliance is an important milestone following the 2014 Malabo Declaration in dealing with the challenges of climate change for the benefit of smallholder farmers.
At the 31st African Union Summit (Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, June 2014), the heads of State and Government were clear in their resolve to commit to action on the agriculture-climate change nexus issue.

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