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53 African countries converge in Zimbabwe

28 Feb 2020 at 12:04hrs | Views
The representatives of small and medium-scale farmers, rural women and youth, fish folks, agricultural workers, livestock keepers, pastoralism, indigenous people, cooperatives, consumers, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) representing national, regional and international  Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from 53 Africa countries converged in Harare where they discussed solutions to the worsening food security being attributed to long spells of drought in Africa.

The representatives discussing in their three day workshop which ended yesterday in Harare, said Government should create a balance between intra and inter-country trade that clearly protect and benefit local economies and markets first. Include public policies that promote and protect the consumption of local products, including public procurement programs so as to improve food security in Africa.

CSOs urged Government to reject mainstream Climate Change packages such as Blue and Green economy, Climate-smart agriculture, as blanket solutions to African challenges, and others which fail to address the root causes of Climate Change and in many ways exacerbate the vulnerability of local communities.

One representative from Kenya, Gladys Mukhwana said, "Government must inclusively develop medium and long-term strategies aimed at critical innovations to move towards a food system that is clean, healthy, environmentally friendly and free of agro-toxics, strongly championed by public research centres," she said.

Another representative from Ethiopia, Serah Tukurah urged Government to develop legislation that ensures the protection and well-being of human rights defenders.

"Where a legal framework already exists, Government's must commit to enforcing these frameworks and avoid any action that might lead to the infringement of the rights of human-rights defender, and criminalization of their legitimate actions," he said.

Nailejileji Tipap from Benin said, "Government must create and secure corridors inside and across borders for the safe movement of transhumance pastoralism, with appropriate health and education services," he said.

The workshop was in line with the 31th FAO Regional Conference for Africa to be held in Victoria Falls from next month.

Source - Rudo Saungweme
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