AU, PAFO pact set to transform agricultural sector

AU, PAFO pact set to transform agricultural sector
December 30 23:29 2022
By Reginald Tapfumaneyi

It is estimated that close to 70% of the African continent’s population depends on agriculture-related livelihoods and in many African Union member states, agriculture contributes up to 25% to the gross domestic product (GDP). However, despite its central role, Africa hasn’t realized the full potential of the agricultural sector to drive the continent’s development.

Addressing participants at a workshop on strengthening collaboration between the Pan African Farmers Organisation (PAFO) and African Union Commission (AUC) held in Rwanda recently, the continental board’s head of Rural Development Division, Department of Rural Development, Blue Economic and Sustainable Environment Dr Janet Edeme, urged the continent to transform and reposition its agricultural sector.
“It is imperative for the continent to transform its Agriculture into a globally competitive, inclusive and business-oriented Agribusiness sector that creates wealth, ensures food security, generates gainful employment and improves quality of life for all. This cannot be achieved without a meaningful economic engagement and transformation of millions of farmers across the continent including representation and defense of their interests and voices on a continental and international scale,” urged Dr Edeme.

Elaborating on the thrust of the workshop Dr Edeme said,
“You may recall that it was during our meeting in Lagos that PAFO and the regional farmers’ organizations proposed the formalization of the collaboration between the AUC and PAFO through the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions. In this regard a draft MoU has been developed and will be deliberated upon and expected to be finalized during this workshop as one of the key outcomes of this meeting. In addition, this workshop will identify potential activities that can be jointly implemented by the AUC and PAFO in 2023 as part of our efforts in strengthening our collaboration in supporting Africa’s small holder farmers including women and youth.”

Her Department at the African Union Commission has made strides in boosting member states’ rural economy development and agricultural transformation through adoption of measures, strategies, policies and programmes on agriculture in an environmentally sustainable manner.
“One of the key mandates of the Department is building the capacity of farmers’ organizations in Africa to enable them to represent the interests of African farmers and promote the development of African agriculture,” said Dr Edeme.

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