By Elias Hakizimana
Various experts including policy makers, business leaders, academicia, researchers and representatives from farmer organisations and civil society have gathered in Kigali in a workshop to discuss ways of further implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Agenda 2030 by eradicating hunger and improve on food security.
They are looking at African regional pathways that enrich the global Sustainable Development Pathway and analysis in support of attaining the SDG Agenda 2030.
The theme of the workshop is How to Attain the SDGs within Planetary Boundaries with Focus on Agriculture and Food Systems.
It was organised by Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A).
Some of the expected outcomes of this two-day event include Creation of African regional SDPs (Sustainable Development Pathways) within the framework of The World in 2050), focusing on food and agricultural systems, using participatory approaches, Improvement of information sharing and networking opportunity amongst the stakeholders, including the global modeling community, etc.
Officially opening the workshop, Ms. Fatina Mukarubibi, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment in Rwanda said that Sustainable Development Goals should be in the context of biodiversity protection, advanced Agriculture and food systems that lead to the desired future of Africans.
She said that the Government of Rwanda is very supportive to domestication of SDGS to ensure that the planned activities in implementing these goals are aligned accordingly.
Dr. Belay Begashaw, Director General, SDGC/A said that agriculture plays a dual role in African context; saving the environment and climate change on one hand by increasing agriculture productivity to increase income. The second role he noted in that agriculture productivity eliminates negative impacts to the environment.
“If we do the right activities in agriculture they will cover the environment, but if the climate change is dominating agriculture productivity, agriculture will be in a bad condition because the productivity will be low. In this kind of session, we want to see how adaptation process will be encouraged and harnessed, we need to see how we can invest more in adapting to climate change around agricultural activities,” Dr Begashaw noted.
He said that they will invest in new breeding, new agronomy practices, new crop plantation activities, new researches and new regulatory framework around agriculture to reduce the impact of climate change as consequence.
Dr Chimimba David Phiri, Subregional Coordinator for Eastern Union and Representative to the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said that Africans need to think different ways to better implement SDGs on how to eradicate hunger.
He said that 821 million people in the world are hungry, which is at higher level from 6 million since 2016.
“We are making progress in reducing hunger over the past ten years, now hunger is increasing, it will be difficult for us to reach the SDGs. 20 percent of the population in Africa is food insecure, of these, Eastern Africa has got the largest number and some reasons for this include conflicts for some places, but also climate change is making the situation worse, because we have very frequent droughts and floods sometimes,” Chimimba said.
He called for political will that is at highest level so that African governments and states can manage to eradicate hunger and use climate smart technologies to mitigate climate change effects.
The workshop has stated on October 30th and will end on October 31st, 2018.
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