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Urgent steps needed to reverse rising malnutrition and poverty in Africa – FAO

Africa needs to take urgent steps to reverse the rising spate of malnutrition on the continent, the United Nations(UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said.

Answering questions here late Wednesday Abebe Haile-Gabriel Assistant Director General (A-DG) and African Regional Representative of the FAO explained that although this was not peculiar to the continent, steps needed to be taken to address these challenges.

“Our own report, FAO report that has been published in 2018, shows that since 2015 malnourishment has been on the rise, despite the fact that there have been a lot of commitments and declaration to end hunger and malnutrition in Africa by 2025 and globally by 2030,” he observed.

This, according to him was due to the low agricultural productivity on the continent, lamenting that it was not limited to crop, livestock, forestry or fishery production alone, but also across the entire value chain.

In Addition, Haile-Gabriel said there was also a high degree of vulnerability of agriculture production systems and probably the livelihood systems emanating from natural phenomenon, including flood and drought and Climate Variability in addition to man-made issues such as conflicts.

In Africa there is very little value addition ; very little transformation of food along the whole value chain.

Is there a solution? Yes of course there have always been solutions. The problems I have mentioned are not peculiar to Africa. It is not because Africa was doomed to these kind of things, added the A-DG.

“The agriculture and rural sector need to embrace transformational change . it is possible to do it along the whole value chain

“Secondly we need to build resilience. If we know that we are living with high level of vulnerability the only solution is to build resilience. Resilience of production systems; resilience of livelihood systems; and there are ways of doing it within a transformational context,” Haile-Gabriel urged. Enditem

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