Global financial institutions urged to increase investment in agriculture
President Uhuru Kenyatta challenged global financial institutions to increase investments in agriculture as part of their support for African economies.
In a pre-recorded video statement delivered Thursday evening at the first United Nations (UN) virtual summit on food systems held on the sidelines of the current United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 76), the president urged financial institutions to support innovation and to design appropriate mechanisms. which will help eliminate risks and losses in the African agricultural sector.
“To support the transformation of our economies, I would like to challenge our global financial institutions to innovate and design appropriate risk reduction and financing instruments to increase investment in agriculture, especially on the African continent” , said President Kenyatta.
The President said that as part of Kenya’s commitment to invest in sustainable and resilient food systems, his administration has developed a call to action for data-driven, inclusive and innovative food systems.
He added that Kenya’s unique food system includes rich and diverse diets as well as a climate resilient livelihoods plan, a combination that has enabled significant progress towards 100 percent food and nutrition security in the country. country.
The president listed five strategies the country has deployed to improve food production systems, including providing relevant information to farmers and traders through a national e-voucher program as well as extension services and consultancy, market information systems and commodity trading services.
President Kenyatta said the Kenyan government is determined to fully re-engage young people in food production through the revival of 4-K clubs and young farmers to ignite their passion for farming and teach them about healthy eating .
“We are also increasing access to nutritious food and diversifying diets by bringing back forgotten and neglected traditional foods, investing in fisheries, aquaculture, animal husbandry, fruits and vegetable farming,” said the President Kenyatta.
He added that his government had also expanded school feeding and school milk programs.
“As a Global Youth Champion, I am delighted that Kenya is taking the leadership of the School Meals Coalition as a critical engine to institutionalize nutrition-based school feeding programs in all participating countries,” said President.
President Kenyatta said the government has harnessed the power of innovation and digital technologies in agriculture, while fostering an environment for innovators to contribute to agricultural transformation.
“Thanks to mobile technologies, we are equipping our farmers with information on markets and inputs. We will use these applications more in the deployment of extension services in our country, ”said the president.
The head of state said that as part of Kenya’s climate smart agriculture, the country is accelerating ecosystem restoration through agroforestry, reforestation and sustainable use of natural resources.
In his opening speech, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged the global community to prioritize emergency food and nutrition supplies in areas affected by conflict and climate emergencies.
“We need to invest in early warning systems to prevent famine and we need to protect all systems that contribute to nutrition from shocks,” Guterres said.
He denounced expensive and inaccessible nutrition that leads to poor consumption choices and urged governments to work with businesses to increase access to healthy and diverse diets.
“Changing food systems is not only possible, it is necessary for people, for our planet and for prosperity,” said the UN secretary general.
Other personalities, including the President of the DR Congo Félix Antoine Tshisekedi who is also President of the African Union and President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly Abdulla Shahid, committed to the promotion of sustainable food systems and resilient to meet the global goal of zero hunger by 2030.