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ESAFF tells UN Envoy: Agroecology is the way to end hunger and poverty in Africa

Kigali, 09th September 2020 . The Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale farmers Forum (ESAFF) says scaling up agroecological practices will help poorer farmers cope with climate change, debt trap and ensure sustainably availability of healthy nutritious food in Africa.

ESAFF coordinator says agroecology is suited to ensure farmer ownership of seed and land, caring for the earth as the conventional agriculture shows the increase of poverty, malnutrition and hunger in Africa.

Mr. Joe Mzinga was speaking at the virtual AGRF forum 2020, organised from Kigali on the agriculture food system that Africa need. He said: “Africa need quantum change to reverse the trend in which the continent is recorded to be the fastest-growing hunger rate among all regions and projected to overtake Asia in ten years” He added that in Southern Africa, nearly 45 million people are food insecure and mainly are rural population.

The ESAFF coordinator emphasized that Africa need to re look at agriculture and revisit rural development strategies to ensure that villages are energised to become centres of production and processing of health and nutritious food.

He said it is shocking to see an increase of 67%, since 2017, of food insecure people in SADC countries while the State of Food Report 2020 shows that Africa will overtake Asia by 2030 with 430-million people undernourished.

Mr. Mzinga called for 3 immediate actions to ensure sustainable food systems; firstly, for policy makers and government to put smallholder farmers (especially women, youth and poor men) at the HEART of all agricultural PUBLIC POLICIES and BUDGET processes: planning, implementation, as well as monitoring


Secondly, he called for serious revisit and re-energise RURAL and PERI URBAN DEVELOPMENT as centres sustainable production and PROCESSING by supporting establishment of small producers’ associations, support rural energy, putting right infrastructures (research centre, roads, irrigation, health centres, storage, markets), as well as ensuring information and communication technology (ICT) is available and affordable for small farmers especially women, poor men and youth


He lastly called for EXTENSION SERVICES that is equipped and focused on agroecology, biodiversity, local seed banks and marketing to support smallholder farmers produce health food sustainably while caring for the environment. 

The meeting was attended among others by Dr. Agnes Kalibata, the UN Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit, who in her opening, promised to listen to what African farmers have to say in their own words.

Other speakers were; Ms. Onyaole Patience Koku from Nigeria, Dr. Dick Kamuganga, President of the Uganda National Farmers Federation, Ms. Hellen Akinyi Onyango from Kenya, Dr. King-David Kwao Amoah the President of Farmers Organisation Network in Ghana and Dr. Theo de Jager, President of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO)