New report says Comesa making food security gains

Food security situation in member states of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, (Comesa) is steadily improving with a number of countries registering significant growth, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has said.

Food security situation in member states of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, (Comesa) is steadily improving with a number of countries registering significant growth, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has said.

The conclusion is contained in a statistical report by the UN food agency presented to the 6th Joint Comesa Technical Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources in Kinshasa, DR Congo this week.

The three-day meeting, which started on Tuesday, addressed issues related to food security within the Comesa region.

A statement released by the regional body on Thursday said FAO’s Crop Prospects and Food Situation report commended the growing food security within the region and noted a significant increase in food production, particularly in cereal output.

The report indicates that Zimbabwe will have the highest increase followed by Sudan by the end of the year.

Other countries with a positive forecast include Madagascar, Zambia, and Malawi.

On the other hand, Kenya and Uganda are expected to register a decline.

The report estimated that agriculture contributes more than 32 per cent of Comesa’s Gross Domestic Product and employs about 80 per cent of its labour force.

The sector also contributes more than 50 per cent of raw materials to industrial sector and generates about 65 per cent foreign exchange for a greater part of the region, the report said.

In order to sustain the growth in production, Comesa has developed a number of regional policy harmonisation programmes and initiatives, especially towards national policy frameworks. Among them is the harmonisation of fertiliser policies and regulations.

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