FAO calls for incorporation of sustainable food policies in intermediary cities
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has called on African countries to incorporate in their development agenda policies that promote sustainable urban food systems.
FAO representative in Kenya Carla Mucavi underscored the need for the continental states to formulate supportive frameworks that advocate for innovative approaches geared toward improving food and nutrition systems in the intermediary cities.
Speaking during a session dubbed Feeding Intermediary Cities at the just concluded ninth Africities summit in Kisumu County, Mucavi noted that the rapidly growing urbanisation in Africa has put intense pressure on the food systems hence the need for the adoption of collaborative interventions through agricultural innovations.
She stressed that emerging technologies in food systems can be leveraged to promote more sustainable production processes for urban dwellers.
Mucavi observed that given the challenges intermediary cities in Africa face with the upsurge in population, it was necessary for its countries to redefine their policies toward achieving sustainable food systems.
“African countries have a cardinal role to play in ensuring the continent’s intermediary cities are put on the path to sustainable food production systems. The chance of transforming human food systems requires collective actions by various partners at the local, city, national and international levels,” Mucavi said.
She asked the local governments in the continent to integrate human food systems into their policies, programmes and capacity development initiatives as well as offer financial support to mitigate the urban food system issues.
She said her organisation is undertaking various agricultural projects in selected intermediary cities aimed at improving rural human linkages within the food systems. “Food system issues require horizontal coordination across the stakeholders. Voices of local and international players should be heard and incorporated into this agenda,” she added.
Kiambu Governor James Nyoro, who chairs the agriculture committee at the Council of Governors, urged agricultural stakeholders to provide practical solutions to challenges related to urban food systems transformation.
Nyoro appealed to local governments to pump in more resources towards stimulating peri-urban and urban agriculture in order to grow the food chain.