At the end of August, over 200 policymakers, farmers, agrodealers, scientists and non-governmental organisations from across Africa and the world gathered in Windhoek, Namibia for the annual FANRPAN Regional Food Policy Dialogue to discuss the most pressing issues facing African agriculture.
Food security is still only an aspiration in Africa. At the dialogue, the delegates discussed the potential solutions available, highlighting the need for increased funds, training, market access and continued research to help African farmers access the information and tools they need .
Climate change is exacerbating the problem of low agricultural productivity in Africa. FANRPAN made clear the need for effective evidence-based policies to help tackle the challenges.
The theme for this year’s dialogue was livestock and fisheries the face of climate change.
FANRPAN also accepted the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as the 14th country node within the network, and it announced that its remit will be extended to become Africa-wide, rather than just focused on sub-Saharan Africa.
This year’s FANRPAN Food Security Policy Leadership Award was presented to the President of Namibia, H.E. Hifikepunya Lucas Pohamba as recognition of his country’s achievement in creating responsible fisheries policies in Namibia, which have already been commended by the UN FAO in 2009.
At the dialogue, BBC World Service’s Focus on Africa radio show interviewed two participants along with FANRPAN’s CEO, Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda. Klaus Shade is an Economic Analyst and Research Associate at the Institute of Public Policy Research and Gerald Nelson is a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
You can listen to the interviews here:[audio:https://farmingfirst.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/fanrpran_2010.mp3]
Resilience to climate change means different varieties of animals, maybe even changes in species that we grow and certainly more storage of grains to deal with the changes in the climate patterns that we can see coming forward even if we cannot predict where or when. – Gerald Nelson
We know the answers: it’s all about technology. And how do we get these technologies to be affordable accessible to the majority of farmers. In most cases the technologies are there, but they are not affordable. – Dr. Lindiwe Sibanda