• Friday, July 19, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

GFFA advocates rural-urban cooperation to meet global food demand

food

The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) has reiterated the importance of encouraging rural farmers to stay focused on food production to meet the global demand, urging them to shun the lure of migration to cities.

“Urbanisation is one of the future challenges of humankind, and supplying people in growing urban areas is a particular challenge.

If we are to cope with this, in addition to a modern sustainable farming sector, partnership-based cooperation is required, with rural and urban development’s working hand in hand and building on one another,” GFFA said in a statement made available on its website.

Contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the recent GFFA summit are calls for productive and sustainable agriculture, efficient and reliable supply and value chains, and vibrant rural areas.

“Agriculture must be made more sustainable, more productive and more profitable in order to keep step with growing demand, to conserve biodiversity and to use the increasingly limited natural resources efficiently,” said the communiqué.

“Recognition must be given to the role urban food production can play in food security and to the socio-cultural and ecological significance of this type of production,” the communiqué added.

According to GFFA, the access and active involvement of stakeholders, famers and smallholders in the supply and value chains must be guaranteed. It must be ensured that adequate capacities are in place for the storage, processing and transport of affordable, healthy and nutritious food. Food losses and wastes must be minimised and opportunities for the recirculation of nutrients maximised.

On vibrant rural areas, the 65 agricultural ministers from different countries present at the summit resolved rural areas must be made attractive places to live and work. Poverty, social and economic disparities between urban and rural areas must, therefore, be reduced and more rural-urban linkages established.

The communiqué added that the huge importance of the role played by women and young people for the vibrancy of rural areas must be acknowledged and remunerated appropriately. Rural areas must be supported in accordance with multilateral trade obligations, it further said.

Rural transformation must be accompanied by thorough planning and management. Only then will people opt to live in rural areas. This is also an important condition for developing agriculture and securing food production. To minimise rural depopulation and migratory pressure on cities, rural areas must offer a good quality of life.

Caleb Ojewale