Iden­ti­fy­ing the fu­ture of agri-food sys­tems in Africa

Farmer's Weekly (South Africa) - - Weekly News Wrap -

Feed­ing the world by 2050 could prove to be chal­leng­ing if shifts in agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion are not taken into con­sid­er­a­tion, es­pe­cially with re­gard to farm­ing prac­tices.

This was ac­cord­ing to Prof Tim Ben­ton, co-project leader of the Agri­cul­tural and Food Sys­tems Re­silience: In­creas­ing Ca­pac­ity and Ad­vis­ing Pol­icy (GCRF-AFRICAP), who spoke at the Cli­mate Smart Agri­cul­ture Fu­ture Sce­nar­ios work­shop hosted by the Na­tional Agri­cul­tural Mar­ket­ing Coun­cil in Pre­to­ria re­cently.

As part of a re­search project by the UK’s Global Chal­lenges Re­search Fund and GCRF-AFRICAP, work­shops were cur­rently be­ing pre­sented in Malawi, South Africa, Tan­za­nia, and Zam­bia to iden­tify the fu­ture of agri-food sys­tems in each coun­try. The project aimed to iden­tify and im­ple­ment ev­i­dence-based pol­icy path­ways to fa­cil­i­tate the de­vel­op­ment of sus­tain­able, pro­duc­tive, cli­mates­mart agri­cul­tural sys­tems in or­der to meet food se­cu­rity and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment needs, he said.

Ben­ton added that re­searchers would work with a range of high­level stake­hold­ers in each coun­try to de­sign the sce­nar­ios and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment path­ways. Th­ese would, for ex­am­ple, as­sist with de­ter­min­ing how much wa­ter and land would be avail­able for pro­duc­tion.

“A range of tools will be de­vel­oped to un­der­stand what will be needed to get from where each coun­try is today, and iden­tify a best-prac­tice base­line,” he said.

“Find­ing po­ten­tial path­ways re­quires an un­der­stand­ing of how the weather will change, and what char­ac­ter­is­tics will be needed for re­silient agri­cul­ture.”

Some of th­ese would be de­ter­mined through the use of tech­nol­ogy that could be­come avail­able; oth­ers would be de­ter­mined by what poli­cies could be put in place to help the food sys­tem move in the de­sired di­rec­tion.

Th­ese path­ways would be used to de­sign, im­ple­ment and eval­u­ate poli­cies on the ground in spe­cial agri­cul­tural zones with con­trolled trial sta­tions and on-farm sites. The po­ten­tial for pol­icy in­ter­ven­tions would also be de­ter­mined, he said.

A draft of the dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios for the project would be shared with var­i­ous stake­hold­ers be­fore the end of the year to fa­cil­i­tate fur­ther talks. The project would run un­til July 2022, Ben­ton said. – Siyanda Sishuba

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.