Improve Regional Trade In Agric Products – Kofi Annan

Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan says more effort needed to be made to improve regional trade in agricultural products.

“ If a farmer cannot sell his/her produce in the next country, it is much harder to develop a profitable business,” he adds.

He’s urged the private sector in Africa to show interest in the agricultural sector by supporting it with the appropriate and needed technology.“Through technology, the private sector can also play a vital role in creating a new food system suited to contemporary needs. Mobile communications, for example, can end the profound isolation of the vast majority of smallholder farmers — which is a primary obstacle to progress.

He further stated that a greater emphasis must be put on “climate-smart” agriculture to enable farmers adapt to changing weather patterns and growing seasons that threaten food production.

“Climate-smart solutions — such as the use of drought- and heat-tolerant crops and improved irrigation systems — are critical for food and nutrition security, farming resilience, and higher productivity,” he said.

He reiterated that unless world leaders take action to tackle climate change, the current sustainable development goals which focus on three dimensions — economic, social and environmental — will not be realised.

Mr. Annan highlighted this in an address at the African Development Bank high conference held in Hammamat, Tunisia, which was themed ‘Feeding Africa”.

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