4 May 2009 Pointing to Africa as the epicentre of the global food crisis, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General today called for an African Green Revolution, urging the international community to double food yields across the continent through sustainable agriculture.
“In contrast to the original Green Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, which largely bypassed Africa, this must be a sustainable green revolution,” Asha-Rose Migiro said in remarks to the opening of the 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development.
She emphasized the development of agricultural practices that respect diverse cropping systems and ecological conditions to preserve biodiversity. She also stressed the need to guarantee African farmers equitable access to markets for their products.
“An African Green Revolution must empower farmers, particularly smallholders, both women and men,” Ms. Migiro said.
She called for global agricultural markets to favour agricultural development in poor countries, saying “trade distortions that discourage agricultural investment in developing countries need to be phased out.”
Sustainable agricultural development also required careful management of resources to balance food security with energy needs, she added.
“Food security must not suffer as a result of the growing demand for bio-fuels or as a result of long-term food export supply contracts,” Ms. Migiro said.
The 53-member Commission will discuss and ultimately adopt a series of policy recommendations to guide agricultural development along with measures to address drought, desertification, land use, rural development and sustainable development in Africa during its two-week session.
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