ECA, Agencies Partner On Food Security

L-R: Chief Executive Officer of HarvestPlus, Beverly Postma, Deputy Director-General, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr May-Guri Saethre, Global Director, Product Development and Commercialisation of HarvestPlus, Dr Wolfgang Pfeiffer, Chief Financial Officer of HarvestPlus, Arun Baral and Director of Development and Delivery Office, IITA, at a public function in Abuja, recently.

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says it has teamed up with three other agencies to work closely in addressing food insecurity in Africa.
In a statement on its website recently  ECA listed the agencies as Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The Commission added in the statement that the ECA Executive Secretary, Ms Vera Songwe, had a meeting with principal officials of the various organisations  in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last week.
It said the four agencies agreed to strengthen their relationship to effectively deal with food security issues on the continent.
“This will be with more focus and emphasis on statistics, policy development and land with a view to improving agricultural productivity,’’ the statement quoted Songwe as saying on the agreement.
The Executive Secretary had assured the other agencies that ECA was ready to deepen its collaboration with the three organisations.
She noted that the fact that the leaders of the Rome-based UN agencies were in Ethiopia at the same time was a good omen.
Songwe said it was strong indication of how important the issue of food security on the continent was to them.
“Under one roof we have combined knowledge on climate change, food security, and conflict.
“These issues are relevant for the challenges we face, such as migration and must be tackled in a comprehensive way.
“We have been collaborating already with the three agencies and there is a lot that can be done if we pull our resources together.”
She also said ECA was ready to contribute to the partnership on the policy side and training in particular. “This is because the organisations work together in their quest to achieve zero hunger on the continent,” the ECA Executive Secretary said. She emphasised the need for data and statistics to help guide agriculture and land policy, adding that this was crucial for the gender agenda and to bring in private investment.