Increase spending on resilient agrifood system – Dr Akoto

The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has called on international donors, middle and low income countries to increase spending on resilient agrifood systems over the next ten years, to achieve zero hunger and other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He said this was because agrifood systems were increasingly becoming susceptible to shocks which threatened the adequate supply of nutritious food.

Agrifood systems comprises the totality of actors involved in the production, distribution, and consumption of food, the relations between them, and the regulatory apparatus governing these arrangements.

Dr Akoto said this when he opened a public lecture on climate change’s impact on vegetable production in Accra last Friday.

It formed part of the Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) project that works to make climate information services and climate-smart agriculture more accessible to millions of smallholder farmers across Africa including Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Zambia.

AICCRA is led by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT and supported by the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank.

He outlined some of these shocks as the frequency of extreme weather events such as severe droughts and floods.

He said this, among others, formed his reason for totally supporting the adoption of climate smart innovations to mitigate agricultural related climate change effects.

The Food and Agricultural Minister said agriculture remained central to the livelihoods of millions of Africans, “yet many African countries were food insecure and significant portions of their populations are malnourished.

“That is why as a nation we have prioritised investments in sustainable land management and irrigation among others.”

Dr Akoto also stressed the need to invest in agricultural research, climate information services and innovations for climate smart agriculture.

“This is a critical factor in building resilience, improving productivity, and protecting the livelihoods of farmers that depend on agriculture.”

He said strengthening the productivity and resilience of African agriculture was critical, but would depend on the ability of governments and their partners to bring signs and development to the forefronts of their development agenda.

Dr Akoto indicated that AICCRA project would enhance access to climate information services, validate climate smart agriculture technologies in Africa, and strengthen partnerships in the delivery of climate smart innovations in agriculture across the continent.

Project Coordinator, AICCRA, Mustapha AlasanDalaa, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times said the project was to capacitate about two million farmers across the country to use climate smart innovations technologies.

“This will impact their livelihoods, connect them to the right agro dealerships, increase their productivity and address their reactions to climate change effects,” he added.

He said it was also to help the farmers explore one-health practices, market opportunities and the use of climate information to increase their resilience of the vegetable value chain.

BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR

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