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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cousin wants increase support for smallholder farmers


 The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme,Mrs Ertharin Cousin, has decried the impact of climate change and called for increased incentive for smallholder farmers to scale up yields, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Cousin, a former supermarket executive and diplomat, in an interview monitored by NaijaAgroNet,said the damage caused by climate change, coupled with a lack of development both in agricultural and economics perpetually keep small-scale farmers on the edge.

She noted for instance that in woefully underdeveloped nations like four-year-old South Sudan, conflict feeds into that downward spiral.

"The global community is well aware that climate change is impacting sub-Saharan Africa. Erratic rains have become more of a reality for across the entire continent... The vulnerable people around the world need a strong global response to address the issues of climate change to ensure that we can minimize the impacts in the future. But today, what we must do is implement disaster risk mitigation strategies that will support vulnerable populations…” she said.

70 per cent of the people who are food insecure in the world today, she said, live in rural areas, noting that if this is not addressed the challenges of unproductive agriculture, then, the issue of food security or the issue of hunger cannot be overcome.

“So we must increase the ability of smallholder farmers to scale up their agricultural yields and provide markets for them to sell those yields to ensure that we can create sustainable and durable agricultural value chains that support the food security of families, as well as the economic viability of those families. That is the only way that we are going to make progress," Cousin said.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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