By Oleen Ndori
THE government says it remains committed to ensuring adequate availability of food to all citizens across the country despite the negative effects of climate change.
Climate change has negatively impacted how economies sustain food accessibility, with increased population growth, loss of biodiversity, increased urbanisation and covid-19 having strained the ability of supply chains to provide food sustainably.
Addressing the United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Food Systems Summit, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the country is putting in place mechanisms that ensure equitable access to food, especially for vulnerable communities.
“Zimbabwe continues to implement a food systems approach that aims to achieve safe and nutritious food and consumption patterns for all in its quest to meet the SDGs. To that end, my government is implementing the Agricultural and Food Systems Transformation Strategy towards reviving, restructuring and transforming agriculture,” said President Mnangagwa.
“This is cross-cutting and seeks to improve climate resilience through accelerated irrigation development, farm mechanisation and technology-based crop, livestock, land and water management systems.
“The Strategy is envisaged to accelerate rural development as well as result inequitable access to safe and nutritious food for all while building resilience to vulnerabilities and shocks. Due attention is given to the adoption of food system solutions and achieving the targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement.”
In line with the aspirations of the United Nations Agenda 2030, putting in place mechanisms that mitigate the effects of climate change is key.
“I would like to reiterate the need to place urgent emphasis on the nexus between food and the health of our planet, given that Climate Change is both a driver and a consequence of hunger. As such, concerted efforts must be made to enhance the resilience and sustainability of agricultural and food production systems.
“The importance of exchanging experiences and best practices, including appropriate technologies, cannot be over-emphasised. Partnerships remain critical as we reach out and draw from the various competencies in our respective countries. All of us have a stake in food systems and must play a part in ending hunger and malnutrition, as well as protecting the environment and enhancing equitable development.
“I wish to call upon our partners to increase financial support and capacity building to the most vulnerable, targeting institutions and actors along the food systems value chain. With unity of purpose, we will truly build a fairer, better and more sustainable world which leaves no one behind,” said the President.
The United Nations Food Systems Summit convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is meant to raise global awareness and secure global, regional and national commitment as well as the action that transform food systems to resolve not only hunger but also launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.