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‘Africa needs inter-regional co-operation to fight climate change on agric’

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Alhaji Sani Nanono

The Minister for Agricul-ture, Alhaji Mohammed  Sabo Nanono, has called for inter-regional cooperation to confront  the threat  posed by climate change to agriculture in  Africa.

He made the call at the just concluded 2nd annual ministerial conference of the Adapting  African Agriculture (AAA) Initiative, themed:  “Food Security Facing Climate Change”.

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The 2-day conference, which was held at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in  Benguerir, Morocco, in partnership with  OCP Africa,  had representatives of  international and regional funding organizations and institutions in attendance.

Sabo Nanono speaking on the need for   interstate and inter-regional cooperation to confront the problem  cited the example  of  Lake Chad which is experiencing reduced  productivity as a result of climate change:

He said, “the Lake Chad which is bordered by Nigeria, Chad and Cameroun and by proxy, other African  countries within the region. We have to see how we can collaborate because this is affecting all  the countries within the region. We need to be less territorial in our thinking, so that we do not continue to face this challenge in Africa”.

Sabo Nanono added: “We also  need to  think of how we manage the other  resources that are available to us and  maximize them. This will  also require inter-regional cooperation between African  countries and will enable us to greatly  deal  with the challenges of global warming.  “Finally, we also need to look at local  solutions: like  our existing laws, which we will need to review in the light of the  challenges in order to have a  common front  in facing the challenges of climate change.  This will prevent African countries from working at cross roads. I hope that as we  move along, the emphasis on inter-regional  cooperation  will be given prominence”.

The high point of the  conference was the ministerial declaration on the actions needed  to tackle head-on, the issue of adapting African agriculture to  climate change.

The participants agreed that the threats posed by climate change to  Agriculture is already manifesting in most   African countries.

According to them, Tunisia has experienced increased temperatures  and 15% drop in rainfall, Central African  Republic has witnessed flooding affecting  ten thousand families; a situation that  hadn’t been  experienced in 50 years.  Agricultural  productivity in Togo has dropped   significantly. The annual rains in Somalia  currently does not support the crop cycle;  Lesotho is battling with draught, delayed summer cropping and diminished surface   water.

The participants , therefore, invite partner funding institutions to back their effort and   to contribute to the financing of the implementation of  plans within the framework of national agricultural  development  strategies.

In particular, through the strategic partnership with the  Africa Adaptation Initiative  (AAI), especially the advent of the on-going Pan African  Climate Finance Access Program with the  Green Climate Fund”.

 

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