FG urged to increase agricultural investments as world marks youth day
YiagaAfrica, a civil society organization, on Thursday, called on the Federal Government and government of African nations to increase their investments in agriculture and support youth innovation to ensure food production is done sustainably so as to improve human and planetary health.
The civil society organization expressed concern over the consistent rise in food insecurity, noting that if urgent steps are not taken, then it would likely worsen due to factors such as underinvestment in agriculture, climate change, conflicts and rapid population growth which will increase pressure on supply.
Cynthia Mbamalu, director of programs, Yiaga Africa, in a statement issued to newsmen in Benin City to mark this year’s international youth day 2021, said the theme, “Transforming food systems: Youth innovation for human and planetary health”, is a reminder of the interconnectedness of an economy that supports youth innovation that can transform food systems to gradually boost human and planetary health.
“This theme is rooted in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Goal 2 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Aspiration one of Agenda 2063. Provisions of these instruments aim to ensure food security, increase agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers.
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“This is especially considering that climate change and the economy affect the rate of hunger and food insecurity globally. The recent UN Climate Change report sounds a “code red for humanity” and projects trouble in our future with global warming reaching an almost uncontrollable level.
“This is coming after “the State of Food Insecurity and Nutrition in the World 2021” report which revealed that moderate or severe food insecurity remains on the increase with 2.37 billion people not having access to adequate food in 2020 which is nearly one in three people in the world,” Mbamalu said.
According to her, while there are varying levels across the continent, Africa was one of the continents experiencing the sharpest increase in moderate or severe food insecurity.
Mbamalu noted that if the challenges are addressed, it would significantly contribute to meeting other goals of the 2030 agenda such as poverty reduction, social inclusion, health care, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation.