Re-strategise agricultural food systems – expert

WITH the current climatic challenges, there is need to identify strategies that will make agricultural food systems more resilient, an agriculture expert has observed.
Indaba Agricultural Policy and Research Institute (IAPRI) executive director Chance Kabaghe said there is need to identify evidence-based strategies that can stabilise supplies, access to food, and livelihoods in the face of increasingly variable climates.
Dr Kabaghe said in a statement availed to the Daily Mail on Tuesday that the strategies also need to be adapted and feasibly adopted by low-resource farmers and communities to the wide range of micro-climates and conditions found in sub-Saharan Africa.
He said governments, the private sector and development partners have important roles to play in supporting climate adaptation and resiliency efforts in Africa.
“It is unfortunate African farmers, consumers and the agricultural food systems are, particularly, vulnerable to climate-related shocks due to the region’s reliance on rain-fed agricultural production systems.
“Unless there is identification, adoption and adaptation of such strategies, terms like climate-smart agriculture, market-smart development and sustainable intensification are at risk of becoming slogans that are not specific enough to effectively guide governments and donor policies and programmes,” Dr Kabaghe said.
He said multi-sectoral cooperation will require framing, adaptation and mitigation plans that are climate-resilient while stakeholder evidence in identifying existing knowledge gaps in various sectors is critical in addressing cross cutting issues affecting agricultural productivity.
To this effect, IAPRI has partnered with two regional organisations to hold a regional sustainability summit to discuss available research evidence that may assist African governments put in place strategies to promote sustainable agricultural productivity.
Experts and policy-makers in the southern African region and the international community will gather from March 16-17 in Lusaka to deliberate on research findings, highlight promising response strategies, and identify unresolved issues for future research.

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