WINDHOEK – The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Alpheus !Naruseb has called on Southern African Development Community (Sadc) member states to make the effort to avail resources for the implementation of regional programmes to address food insecurity, poverty and unemployment, particularly among the youth.
He made the remarks on Friday when he officially addressed the meeting of Sadc ministers responsible for agriculture, food security, fisheries and aquaculture.
The meeting discussed a number of issues, among others the regional food security situation, trans-boundary animal diseases, a harmonised seed regulatory system, implementation of the regional agricultural policy, fisheries and aquaculture as well as the blue economy strategy.
About 70 percent of the population in the Sadc region depends on agriculture for their livelihood, which in turn hinges on adequate, timely and well-distributed rainfall.
According to him, the fact that the bulk of crop production in the region depend on rain-fed agriculture makes the region vulnerable to adverse climatic conditions, a situation that calls upon member states to put policies and strategies in place in order to reduce and mitigate the impact of drought and floods, and to make the agriculture and fisheries sectors more resilient to adverse climatic conditions.
!Naruseb said it is important to highlight that it will not be sufficient for them to make good decisions and to formulate good policies if these decisions are not practically implemented for the benefit of the people.
In addition, he noted that the implementation of these decisions and policies is only possible if all member states commit themselves to honour their obligations towards the implementation of the regional programmes and initiatives.
“It is only through our timely contribution and the effective implementation programmes and initiatives that the region will be able to feed the estimated 30 million people who are currently food insecure in our region, and to take the Sadc agricultural, fisheries and aquaculture development programme forward,” he stated.
Therefore, he said, member states should ensure that solutions are found to address food security challenges that are currently facing the region.
He emphasised the need to focus on rural investment, infrastructure development and appropriate technologies to reduce the long-term effects of climate variability on incentives that will motivate farmers to adopt better agricultural technics and practices and encourage aquaculture development.
Equally, he said there is a need to strengthen the national and strategic grain reserve facility.
2019-06-12 09:44:48 4 days ago