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FAO’s Advocacy for Smallholder Farmers at The World Government Summit
By admin February 15, 2017

Photo by Dan Gold

Every year since 2013, The World Government Summit has taken place in Dubai. This global platform aims at shaping future policies around the world by setting an agenda for the “next generation of governments.” The fifth annual Summit began on February 12, 2017 and representatives of 139 countries and global leaders from all sectors were challenged by unprecedented changes in the international political system.

But one of the most pressing matters is perhaps the drought in East Africa that has significantly affected harvest and livestock production. This phenomenon highlights a broader necessity to act now and adapt our food systems to climate change as it is already affecting production and will ultimately compromise international efforts to end hunger and extreme poverty by 2030.

During this year’s World Government Summit, the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, urged the international community to support small farmers adapt to climate change as agriculture holds the key to ending poverty and hunger. He also argued that agriculture, and particularly smallholder farmers could contribute to “maintaining the stable climatic conditions in which civilization can thrive”.

Because farmers were not equipped to face the current droughts, production shortages have caused prices of cereal and other basic food to rise at unusually high levels. According to the Food Price Monitoring and Analysis Bulletin of February 14, 2017, “prices of maize, sorghum and other cereals are near or at record levels in swathes of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania”

The scarcity of resources and the sharp increase in price has serious consequences for a majority of the households in the region who now face food insecurity.

For the Director General of the FAO, the most efficient response to these climate change induced events would be to support small farmers and enable their access to credit and markets and to information and communication technology (ICT) technology. In order to address some of these issues, the FAO and the World Meteorological Organization are working on services adapted to farmers need on the matter.

During a panel discussion at The World Government Summit, Graziano da Silva argued that adapting to climate change made “economic sense” as the benefits from such investments would be much greater than their costs.

Discussions around agriculture and the necessity to adapt practices to climate change are not new. During the 2016 UN Climate Change conference, the FAO and its partners launched a framework on water scarcity to support agriculture in developing countries. The World Government Summit was an additional opportunity to shed light on this urgent issue.

 

Read More:

The World Government Summit

Helping small farmers to face climate change

Drought is pushing food prices up sharply in East Africa


Thanks for sharing !


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