KIGALI - A meeting on food security in the region is due next week in Kigali. It will attract agriculture and development experts from around the region, and will seek to push the food security agenda to the forefront.
The conference, organised by the Consortium for Improving Agriculture-based Livelihoods in Central Africa (CIALCA), will examine the challenges and opportunities for intensifying farm production in sub-Saharan Africa’s humid tropical regions, officials say.
It will also seek to address issues related to constraints in setting up resilient banana systems in Eastern and Central Africa.
“Banana is a major staple food and source of income for smallholder farmers in the region. However, banana diseases and pests continue to threaten the region’s banana production,” reads a statement from CIALCA.
It adds that rapid and healthy multiplication of banana planting material was key to a vigorous and healthy banana sector.
“Although the Great Lakes Region is a high-potential area for farm production due to good rainfall and temperatures that allow cropping most of the year, persistent civil conflicts, lack of infrastructure, political instability and poverty have left small farmers struggling to eke out a living,” adds the statement.
Food security is a major problem in the region, with some areas reporting 30 to 40 percent of families being food insecure.
Rwanda is among the most food secure countries in the region.