Africa making encouraging strides in agriculture and food security, says Commissioner Tumusiime
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 24, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- AUC's Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture Mrs Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, has reiterated that commendable progress has been achieved in the agricultural sector on the continent.
Addressing the media on the margins of the 20th AU Summit themed 'Panafricanism and African Renaissance,' Mrs. Tumusiime said the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA), was making unprecedented and continuing efforts to advance the areas of agriculture for food security and nutrition as well as on areas of sustainable development.
She highlighted three broad inter-related core and strategic development areas that guided her department's work, namely:
(i) Advancing the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) through mobilization of political, technical and financial support;
(ii) Promotion of sustainable management of the environment and natural resources; and
(iii) Enhanced coordination of the implementation of related flagship projects pursuant to relevant AU Decisions.
Mrs. Tumusiime noted that a scan through the specific progress made in individual countries, showed that notable achievements had been registered in improving agricultural productivity and trade in Africa.
“Apart from the recent challenges in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel Region, the continent has registered a stable food security environment over the last 4 years. From the different country household survey reports covering the entire continent, there has been a notable increase in the incomes of many agricultural households. These positive changes and shifts can be attributed to CAADP-based and incentive-oriented agricultural policy and institutional reforms that have been undertaken by AU Member States in the recent past with the support of the AUC, the NEPAD Agency, RECs and other Pan African Institutions together with development partners,” she said.
Mrs. Tumusiime further stressed the importance of putting women at the centre of agriculture and food security.
“We're moving the agenda of women forward and in fact the current Chairperson of the AUC, H.E Madame Dlamini-Zuma has prioritized women in the Commission's strategic focus and operations,” she said.
And speaking on sustainable development, Commissioner Tumusiime said, “It remains one of DREA's key strategic areas of intervention in order to ensure efficient and effective harnessing and management of Africa's natural resources and be able to cope with the demands of the exponentially increasing population; the adverse impacts of climate change and climate variability; and the intensifying disasters and risks.”