The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has given a breakdown of its 5-year strategic Programming Framework for Nigeria (CPF), spanning between 2018 and 2022.
Suffyan Koroma, FAO Country Representative in Nigeria, said in a press statement in Abuja on Tuesday that the framework was to assist Federal Government develop its agriculture sector.
He listed some priority areas which included: Strengthening national food and nutrition security through enhanced nutrition sensitive and climate-smart food systems.
Others are: supporting appropriate and operationally effective agricultural policy and regulatory frameworks, supporting Nigeria’s Economic Diversification Agenda and the promotion of decent employment for youth and women in the agriculture value chains.
It also included improving the efficient and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems and enhancing disaster risk reduction, resilience building and emergency management towards strengthening the Humanitarian-Development Nexus.
He also said the framework would ensure efficient management of the country’s natural resources.
He also spelt out a set of medium-term support objectives and results as approved by the FAO’s Regional Office for Africa (RAF).
He said the areas of action were defined in consultation with government ministries, agencies and departments, as well as related stakeholders from academia, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and private sector.
He said FAO also considered the humanitarian needs of Nigeria, as contained in various development strategies the government had put in place.
He said they included the Agriculture Promotion Plan (APP) and President Mohammadu Buhari’s Plan for humanitarian relief and socioeconomic stabilisation of the Northeast.
He said during the five-year period, FAO would bring together innovative, international best practices and global standards with national and international expertise.
Koroma said the current document built on the achievements of the previous programming cycle from 2013 to 2017, taking into account the emerging challenges of climate change, armed conflict and rising food prices.
“The CPF seeks to address the myriad of challenges involved in the rapid development of the agriculture sector.
“This document will guide FAO and its partners in ensuring the agriculture sector can address domestic needs, generate jobs and meets export standards, with the aim to grow the economy,’’ he said.
Heads of UN agencies outline steps to lessen COVID-19 impact on children
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is threatening access to food by some of the world‘s most vulnerable — children, according to a new white paper written by the heads of four United Nations agencies, including the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The white paper, published in the scientific journal The Lancet and released by FAO on Tuesday, called on countries to take action to protect children from food supply problems sparked by the pandemic.
It was jointly written by FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, along with David Beasley, executive director of the Rome-based World Food Program (WFP), Henrietta Fore, executive director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Qu is a former vice minister of China‘s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
The paper, entitled “Child Malnutrition and COVID-19“, calls for five specific actions aimed at protecting children from malnutrition during the global coronavirus pandemic: safeguarding and promoting access to “nutritious, safe, and affordable diets”; investments in maternal and child nutrition initiatives; reactivating and expanding early detection services for low body weight among young children; maintaining access to healthy school meals for vulnerable kids; and expanding social protection programs to guarantee access to food and other essential services.
“Our teams in countries everywhere stand ready to support governments and partners in implementing these five actions now,” the co-authors wrote. “We must step forward together with sustained action and investments on nutrition today, and deny the COVID-19 crisis an inter-generational legacy of hunger and malnutrition in children.”
FAO says Kenya on course to eradicate desert locusts
Kenya is likely to become free from desert locusts in the near future thanks to roll-out of robust containment measures, a senior official from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said on Tuesday.
Cyril Ferrand, FAO’s resilience team leader for East Africa, said that Kenya and other Horn of Africa nations have made significant progress towards eradication of the voracious pests.
He said that only two out of the 29 counties in Kenya that were infested by desert locusts in February are yet to contain them.
“In the coming days, that will drop to one county, and within three weeks Kenya should be free of large-scale infestations altogether,” Ferrand said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
He said that FAO is fighting the second generation of desert locusts that have been successful but the threat of possible re-infestation towards the end of the year calls for enhanced surveillance.
Ferrand said that Ethiopia is still infested with a second breeding generation, and also partly re-infested by swarms from Kenya.
He said that from the beginning of January to the end of June, FAO and regional governments had cushioned nearly 600,000 hectares from desert locusts.
“We estimate that so far we have killed over 400 billion locusts in the entire region. That is really a lot. That is 400 to 500 billion locusts that were prevented from damaging crops and rangelands,” said Ferrand.
He said that Kenya’s breadbaskets have been spared desert locust invasion due to robust control measures.
He clarified that locusts have found good locations for breeding as evidenced by widespread damage in the agro-pastoral and pastoral livelihood areas.
“We are still assessing the damage, but we have noticed abnormal poor livestock body condition in areas where desert locusts were present,” said Ferrand.
He said that in Turkana County in northern Kenya, sorghum crops with around 15 to 20 percent damage of the yield linked to the pests had been reported.
“The multiple layers of threats that these communities have been facing is a significant concern and a source of acute food insecurity in the region,” said Ferrand.
Africa global epicentre of deforestation – FAO
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says Africa lost 3.9 million hectares of forest between 2010 and 2020.
This, according to the United Nations agency, makes it the continent with the largest annual net rate of deforestation in the last decade.
The data came in the FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 reports released on Tuesday.
“Africa had the largest annual rate of net forest loss in 2010–2020, at 3.9 million hectares, followed by South America, at 2.6 million hectares.
“The rate of net forest loss has increased in Africa in each of the three decades since 1990.
“It has declined substantially in South America, however, to about half the rate in 2010–2020, compared with 2000–2010,” the report said.
FAO said that Asia had the highest net gain of forest area in within the period, followed by Oceania and Europe.
In total, it said that 178 million hectares of forest, “which is an area about the size of Libya”, had been lost worldwide since 1990.
However, it said that the rate of net forest loss decreased “substantially over the period 1990–2020”.
It attributed the decline to “a reduction in deforestation in some countries, plus increases in forest area in others through afforestation and the natural expansion of forests.
“The rate of net forest loss declined from 7.8 million hectares per year in the decade 1990–2000 to 5.2 million hectares per year in 2000–2010 and 4.7 million hectares per year in 2010–2020.
“The rate of decline of net forest loss slowed in the most recent decade, due to a reduction in the rate of forest expansion,” the organisation said.
An FAO’s forestry expert, Anssi Pekkarinen, called on countries to step up efforts to halt deforestation.
This, he emphasised, is critical to “unlock the full potential of forests in contributing to sustainable food production, poverty alleviation, food security, biodiversity conservation and climate change.”
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Africa is the new global hotspot for deforestation — FAO
UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) data shows that Africa is the continent with the worst record of deforestation in the last decade, with average annual forest losses of almost four million hectares.
The data, released on Tuesday, is part of FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment report issued every five years.
It states that “Africa has the largest annual rate of net forest loss in 2010-2020, at 3.9 million hectares, followed by South America, at 2.6 million hectares.
“Globally, some 420 million hectares of forest was lost since 1990 due to deforestation and conversion of forest to other land use such as agriculture.”
However, the Rome-based agency added that the rate of forest loss decreased from a rate of 16 million hectares per year from 1990 to 2000 to 10 million hectares per year from 2015 to 2020.
The report shows that the world’s forests cover 4.06 billion hectares, almost a third of the global land area.
Europe, including Russia, has 25 per cent of the world’s forest area, followed by South America with 21 per cent and North and Central America with 19 per cent, it added.
The report quoted FAO’s top forestry expert, Anssi Pekkarinen, as stressing the need to step up efforts to halt deforestation “to unlock the potential of forests in contributing to sustainable food production, poverty alleviation, food security, biodiversity conservation and climate change.”
Edited By: Halima Sheji/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)