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Mudavadi: Africa must rally together for sustainable agricultural development

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There is an urgent need to address food and nutrition insecurity facing millions of Africans, Kenya’s Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has said.

Mudavadi said strategies aimed at meeting the continents’ growing demand for food should be implemented without any further delay.

He underscored the integral role of soil health, prudent use of agricultural inputs, environmental conservation and embracing of technologies that can make production systems efficient and effective towards achieving sustainable agricultural development and food sustainability.

“The realization of this important goal will ensure that as we feed ourselves and also leave an environment where our generations can be able to sustain themselves moving into the future,” said Mudavadi.

Mudavadi has lauded African heads of State and Government for rallying together to promote agriculture as a foundation for food sustainability.

Mudavadi who was speaking at the African Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit, underway in Nairobi said what is required is the implementation of key declarations and commitments made by African leaders to drive agricultural productivity into the next level.

He noted the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) that has served as the framework for action for agricultural transformation across Africa since 2003 saying CAADP, an AU initiative, supports member states in increasing investment and productivity of the agricultural sector.

“At the second ordinary Assembly of the African Union in July 2003 in Maputo, African Heads of State and Government endorsed the “Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa”. The Declaration contained several important decisions but prominent among them was the “commitment to the allocation of at least 10 percent of National budgetary resources to agriculture and rural development policy implementation within five years.” he noted.

The Abuja Declaration of 2006 on Fertilizer for the African Green Revolution, Mudavadi said it identified the critical need to increase fertilizer use to stimulate agricultural productivity growth to end hunger and poverty in Africa.

The declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods reached in Malabo, he said focus was on accelerating agricultural growth by at least doubling current agricultural production levels, by the year 2025.

“In the Malabo Declaration of June 2014, African leaders declared their commitment to end hunger in Africa by 2025,” said Mudavadi.

The Soil Initiative for Africa a declaration reached in September 2020, at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa Forum (AGRF), the African Union Commission (AUC) issued a call for an ambitious long-term effort to systematically improve the health and productivity of Africa’s soils. Improved soil condition will be achieved by scaling proven and locally adapted technologies, including balanced and efficient (inorganic and organic) fertilizer application, to improve productivity for all farmers and in many cases, sequester greenhouse gases.

The 2020 forum emphasized on policies, programs and institutional structures for an effective soil management system to improve and maintain soil fertility across Africa into the future.

“I believe monitoring the implementation of these commitments and initiatives is ongoing. During this summit, there is need to review our performance and through lessons learnt, propose innovative solutions to address emerging challenges.” Mudavadi urged African leaders.

Mudavadi regretted that though fertilizers are estimated to contribute more than thirty percent of the crop yield, fertilizer alone cannot sustain increased agricultural productivity and production as he gave a case of what has been witnessed in Kenya.

“Observations have been made that yields in maize stagnated despite increased fertilizer use here in Kenya. This has resulted in input bundling, emphasis on balanced nutrition and soil sampling and testing.” he noted.

The Prime CS said the government through collaboration with other stakeholders has developed the National Soil Management Policy that contains critical directions on sustainable agricultural soil and water management, soil management and environment, technology development, dissemination and utilization, fertilizer development and investments.

He said there is need to develop coordination mechanisms where all the stakeholders sit at the same table and develop action plans that address issues of fertilizer and soil health holistically.

The summit enters its second day, Wednesday, under the theme “Listen to the Land”, which positions Africa’s land and soil as the lead determinant of all its agricultural endeavors.

 

 

 

 

 

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