- On the final day of the World Summit on Food Security, the head of the UN’s rural poverty agency said he was pleased to see how developing countries are increasingly deepening their commitments to food security through investment in agriculture.
On the sidelines of the Summit, Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), urged developing country governments to move boldly and swiftly to create the political will and the right policy environment for agricultural development, while acknowledging their progress.
Mr Nwanze noted that G8 leaders had made commitments at L'Aquila in July - where they pledged $20 billion to support agriculture in the next three years. The importance of reversing disinvestment in agriculture was then endorsed at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh in September.
“Now it is important to drive home the message to developing countries, to move forward in their own commitments to prioritise agriculture. Nothing but agriculture can drive local economies, grow more food and eradicate poverty,” he emphasised.
During the Summit Mr Nwanze held discussions with several country leaders, including the Tanzanian President, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, and the Angolan Prime Minister, Luisa Diogo, as well as with key ministers from developing countries where IFAD works closely with local communities to reduce rural poverty.
In the Summit declaration, countries agreed to work to reverse the decline in domestic and international funding for agriculture and promote new investment in the sector, to improve governance of global food issues and to proactively face the challenges of climate change to food security.
IFAD has in the past 30 years maintained focus on food security and rural development. “In the last decade, while the international community and national governments were disinvesting in agriculture, IFAD’s programme of work was increasing,” noted Mr Nwanze.
“IFAD has been faithful to its mission and we continue to insist that investment in rural development, in women and children, is the foundation of economic growth,” he said.
In responding to media queries on large-scale investments in agricultural land in developing countries, Mr Nwanze said in developing countries with an abundance of land, water and good soils, there are good opportunities for such investments.
“These investments can bring new technologies, increase production, create jobs, build infrastructure, schools and health facilities, so rural communities are able to advance,” he said.
“There is a potential for win-win situations. What is vital is that in such transactions local communities are involved as partners and not deprived of their land,’ he added.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.