The African Union Commission (AUC) has reiterated its commitment to engage with multiple stakeholders with the view of supporting African nations in setting up action plans to build climate change resilience in agriculture and food systems.
Ms Olushola Olayide, a Senior Policy Officer of the Commission, gave the assurance at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Africa Climate Week at the Accra International Conference Centre on Monday.
Speaking on the topic:” Stepping Up Action to Build Climate Resilient Agriculture and Food Systems in Africa” Ms Olayide said agriculture was key component for poverty alleviation in Africa, therefore it required the involvement of all stakeholders to adopt proactive measures to mitigate effects of climate change.
The five-day conference would create a platform for government agencies, international partners, donor agencies, environmental experts and multi-stakeholders to discuss action plans to mitigate negative effects of climate change and draw up concrete actions to improve agriculture production and food systems.
She called for capacity building of smallholder farmers, adoption of technology to increase agriculture production and political will by African leaders to increase resilience of agricultural systems.
In that regard, she said, African leaders having noticed the consequences of climate change on small-holder farmers and food production adopted the Declaration of Agriculture and Food Security in Maputo in July 2003.
She said the declaration created a strategy for African countries to adopt comprehensive agriculture programmes to increase public investments in agriculture by a minimum of 10 per cent of the national budget of African countries.
Mr Emmanuel Odamey, who represented the Director of the Agriculture Extension Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), said climate change is affecting the development of most countries across the world and that required concrete measures deal with it.
He said agriculture is a primary sector that other sectors of the economy depended on and it is therefore prudent to allocate resources towards its growth.
Over the few decades, he said Ghana has suffered devastation from climate change effects such as floods, heavy tidal waves, fire outbreaks, which caused damage to property and deaths.
Therefore, Government prepared a Climate Change Policy in 2014 to provide direction and coordination to issues of climate change.
The move, he said, would provide action plan for resilient agriculture and food security.
He said there was also the Climate Change Agriculture Smart Action Plan and distributed the policy direction to all regional coordinating councils and metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies for their inputs and undertaken sensitization programmes to ensure holistic implementation of the plan.
Mr Odamey said all the action plans contained resilient agriculture strategy for job creation, rural development, accessibility to farm inputs such as seedlings and fertilizers by smallholder farmers for sustained agriculture production and means to prevent post-harvest losses.
He said all those measures taken by government are aimed at ensuring resilient agriculture production and food security.
He, therefore, asked private sector entities to take advantage of the resilient agriculture action plan to invest in agriculture for sustained growth and development.