As African ministers and other stakeholders convene at the 30th Regional Conference for Africa, in Khartoum, Sudan, the Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Graziano da Silva says it is possible to eliminate hunger by 2030.
He said that collective action was fundamental to achieve the aim of the Malabo Declaration to end hunger by 2025, as well as that of the Sustainable Development Goal number 2 which aims to eradicate hunger and all forms of malnutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
“The challenge is how to promote healthy diets when urbanization is stimulating a dietary transition towards more processed food. So countries need to act in two fronts: production and consumption of healthy food. This includes the advertisement and information of food products. People must be aware about the pros and cons of what they are eating, and also be encouraged to eat healthy food.” He said
The FAO Director-General stressed the need to bring African youths to the forefront of leadership.
“Youth employment remains a biting challenge in the region. Estimates foresee that people aged 15 to 24 years in Sub-Saharan Africa will increase by more than 90 million by 2030, and most will be in rural areas. Getting this growing number of young people into decent jobs is not just essential for their personal future, but for the future of the continent.
“The majority of Africa’s rural youth are in the informal economy as contributing family workers, subsistence farmers, home-based micro-entrepreneurs or unskilled workers. They typically earn low wages, work under casual or seasonal arrangements, and face unsafe, often exploitative working conditions that compel many to migrate to urban areas.Farm and non-farm activities hold enormous potential for unemployed African youth.” He explained
He however said that more effort was needed to transform rural economies adding that successful, inclusive transformations would encourage agricultural productivity growth, including using resources from agriculture into manufacturing sector which would to lead to reductions in poverty and hunger.
“We still have good reasons to be optimistic and believe that eradicating hunger by 2030 is still possible.Political will has not evaporated. It has in fact been reinforced. The United Nations, led by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, has increased its focus on the impacts of conflicts through peacekeeping operations.” He said
On tackling the effects of climate change he said “there is currently in place the Green Climate Fund. Developing countries will have access to the necessary resources to implement climate-smart practices for adaptation to a changing climate. Furthermore, there are strong signs that the world economy is recovering and this will create favorable conditions for development. On the margins of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa a few weeks ago, I addressed heads of state and government and reaffirmed that achieving Zero Hunger is possible.”
Graziano da Silva urged leaders across the globe to be more committed in the promotion of peace, human rights and sustainable development