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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

UNCTAD warns of rural poverty


Anthony Nwakaegho/NaijaAgroNet
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's (UNCTAD's) has warned that continuous rural poverty, persistent hunger and growing populations, must be treated as a collective crisis, or the world will face economic imbalance, NaijaAgroNet report.
UNCTAD made this known in its trade and environment report 2013 sub titled, "Wake up before it is too late: Make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate" and said that urgent and far-reaching action is needed before climate change begins to cause major disruptions to agriculture, especially in developing countries.
The report pinpointed that vulnerability to increased frequency and intensity of droughts and floods in East Africa with a population of approximately 130 million people has continued to suffocate the region's economic growth due to the imbalance between climate change, food security and trade.
The Minister of State for Water and Environment, Flavia Munaaba, said that food availability is already being affected through reduced production, poor storage and inefficient processing and stressed that there was need to adapt policies that will mitigate the effects of climate change to prevent the disastrous effect of food security and livelihoods of rural people.
"It is not good for you to put a policy in place and don't implement it. A good policy is verified through implementation. We want policies that we can see on the ground. The EAC is not operating in utopia. We need a climate resilient EAC that will address climate change in the context of green economy, job creations, sustainability and inclusiveness," said Prof Godwell Nhamo, a Climate Change and Green Economy specialist from the University of South Africa.
NaijaAgroNet noted that the forum was organised under the Promoting Agriculture, Climate and Trade linkages in the East African Community (PACT EAC) project, a regional initiative led by CUTS International in collaboration with other partners and found that despite commitments to implement trade policy measures to ensure regional food security, government interventions often disrupt competitive market conditions and encourage corrupt practices.
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