We need a regional food reserve facility to mitigate effects of climate change – Zuma

South African President Jacob Zuma says there is need to set up a regional food reserve facility to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Speaking when he officially opened the 91st Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show in Lusaka yesterday, President Zuma said doing so would provide SADC with a mechanism for preventing and preparing for adverse impasse and shock to food security.

“Agriculture is the bedrock of the economy of the southern region as a whole. About 80 percent of people in the region depend on agriculture for income and employment. The performance of agriculture has strong influence on food security, economic growth, and stability of the SADC region. As such, the focus on agriculture remains high on the priority list and is of critical importance. We are all encouraged that the food security situation in southern Africa has shown an overall improvement since the beginning of 2017 as compared to the previous year. This positive result is due to good rainfall experience during and towards the end of 2016,” President Zuma said.

“Considering the annual variations of food production in the region due to changing weather patterns, there is need to review the work done on the establishment of a regional food reserve facility. This will provide SADC with a mechanism for preventing and preparing for adverse impasse and shock to food security.”

President Zuma said the 2017 ACSZ theme took into account the interdependence into economic growth, social protection and protection of the natural eco system among others.

“The progressive theme takes into account the interdependence into economic growth, social protection and protection of the natural eco system. Our two countries share the concern and vision on matters of the environment and sustainable growth and should corporate towards the development capacity in green technologies and industries. This agriculture show has relevance beyond Zambia even the importance of agriculture on the continent and its alignment with the AU agenda 2063,” said President Zuma.

This year’s Agriculture and Commercial Show is being commemorated under the theme “Promoting a Green Economy”.

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