The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has solicited the assistance to African farmers to enable them to cope with the threats of climate change.
In a statement issued in Rome, the FAO specifically recommended national policies “that protect them and make them resilient’’.
The statement came after a high-level Africa Food Security Leadership Dialogue in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, according to the United Nations agency.
It noted that building resilience was one of its priorities in Africa and that it was key to meeting the challenge of feeding over two billion people by 2050.
“Small-scale food producers and their families are particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change, but they have always been innovators.
“What they need are policies that protect them and increase their resilience to climate change.
“They need access to information, technology and investment, and they should be brought to the conversation on innovation,’’ FAO quoted its Deputy Director-General, Helen Semedo, as telling the conference.
Latest data by the FAO indicate that hunger is on the rise in almost all parts of Africa.
The continent has the highest prevalence of undernourishment in the world, at almost 20 per cent, according to the agency.
It said the situation, which is attributed mainly to conflict and climate change, was particularly acute in Eastern nations, “where almost one-third of the population struggles to find enough to eat’’.
FAO said participants at the conference endorsed a commitment to do more to help African countries to improve their food security.
This was after they heard that adaptation to climate risks was possible if there was immediate and bold action taken to build resilience.
The forum was aimed at engaging governments and key development partners to bring about unified action for Africa’s agriculture and food systems in response to climate change, according to FAO.
“The two-day event was hosted by the Government of Rwanda, in partnership with the FAO, the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Bank.’’