NAIROBI, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- The solution to hunger and malnutrition crisis in the sub-Saharan African region lies in robust investments in farming systems that conserve vital ecosystems including watersheds and forests, green lobbies said Thursday.
Led by Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), the lobby groups underscored the critical role of nature friendly agricultural practices in realization of food security and climate resilience in the continent.
"We welcome investment in agriculture in our continent but it should be responsive to the needs of small-holder farmers including the ability to cope with climate change while sustaining health of local species," said Million Belay, general coordinator of AFSA, in a statement issued in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.
He said the African Green Revolution Forum slated for next week should explore eco-friendly farming systems that can be adopted at small-holder level to improve crop yield and farmers' income.
Kenya will host the 2021 African Green Revolution Forum from Sept. 7-10 under the banner of Pathways to Recovery and Resilient Food Systems.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will be joined by high-powered delegates to discuss bold policy and funding interventions that can be adopted to hasten the continent's agricultural transformation.
Belay said the four-day forum that is a precursor to the UN Food Systems Summit to be held on Sept. 23, should explore small-holder farmer-led initiatives that blend food production and biodiversity protection.
Anne Maina, director of the Biodiversity and Biosafety Association of Kenya, said that African small-holder farmers should be incentivized to adopt food production systems that preserve wild species, soil and water.
According to Maina, investments in organic farming as opposed to mechanized agriculture has proved effective in protecting habitats while guaranteeing food and nutrition security to Africa's rural households.
Mariann Bassey-Orovwuje, a senior official from Friends of the Earth Africa, said that a paradigm shift in the continent's agricultural systems was urgent to ensure they are farmer-centered, climate resilient and eco-friendly. Enditem