Her Excellency Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union has said that the space of the intersection of empowering women in agriculture and food security is a higher priority today, than ever before.
Speaking at the on-going 22nd ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, she made these remarks at the Gender is my Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) consultative meeting on mainstreaming gender on the 23rd January 2014.
”What is clear is that when the reality of the need for higher growth rates and broad-based economic growth across Africa are aligned, targeting mechanisms to mainstream women and youth are what will take us beyond the tipping point where we are today.”, she said.
Adding that simultaneous focus to enable delivery of transformation should include improving access to production inputs, reducing post-harvest losses, strategic crops, market information, access to finance, applied science education, entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as accountability.
“The evidence is overwhelming, that focusing on rural women in agriculture and agribusiness, is insurance for African economies to continue to be global leaders, and economic growth to move forward, at the pace that is needed to realize a food and nutrition secure Africa, by 2025”.
Adding that: “As we reflect on our discussions, deliberations and actions, I encourage you to keep in mind that we at the Africa Union are committed to Africa’s robust, integrated growth and benefits of that growth, being inclusive of Africa’s women”.
The African Union launches the year 2014, declared in 2012 as the African Union year of Agriculture and Food Security. This launch calls on Africans not only to reflect on successes registered and challenges encountered over the 10 years of the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP), but also to identify and apply concrete ways which will bring to the full capacity of Africa’s women and men, girl and boy children, to actively build resilient households, dynamic communities, and robust economies, that foster innovations and sustained growth throughout the continent, while continuing to focus on increasing production and productivity at the farm level, reducing post –harvest loss and maintaining nutrition levels to avoid child stunting.
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