International experts in agriculture and food security gathered at the Research in Ethiopia to Feed Africa High-Level Policy Dialogue to track progress and encourage actions to address crucial food shortages in Africa. The policy Dialogue which is part of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2014 was co-sponsored by the Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
Jean Lebel, IDRC’s President while speaking at the opening, said the agency is a critical step in Canada’s support for food security research and innovation.” To date Canada has dedicated $124m to initiatives and projects through the five year old Canadian International Food Security Research Fund – or CIFSRF.’’
He also added that they have seen dramatic growth in local farmers’ livelihoods through CIFSRF projects that have improved the yield of vegetable crops, introduced secondary harvest, and developed breakthrough vaccines for cattle that hold out the promise of improving the GDP in some African countries and that the advances will not only be beneficial to farmers today but will also improve African food security in the future.
Jean Lebel said the feed Dialogue as a prelude to the 2014 AGRF is an opportunity to review the solutions that research brings to reducing hunger and that they are seeking to promote public-private research partnerships that have the ability to transform promising proof-of-concept research into development outcomes at scale.
Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development in her welcome address said, African leaders dedicated themselves to improve investment in agriculture and ending hunger by 2025 as well as ending poverty through inclusive agricultural growth and transformation.
She made known that the agenda calls for improved livelihood for African women and youth, “therefore the youth and the women should be more supported through education and skill development to enable them to apply their skills and knowledge through research, entrepreneurship, agribusiness and other relevant activities along agricultural value chains.”