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Sadc moves on food security

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The Council for Sadc Ministers of Agriculture and Food Security has urged member states to strengthen plant and animal pest and diseases management amid reports of transboundary plant pests and animal diseases which continue to affect the production of food in the region.

The resolution was made at the recent joint meeting at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe, where representatives of 14 member states attended.

The aim of the meeting was to consider and review implementation of policies and strategies aimed at advancing agriculture and food and nutrition security, fisheries and aquaculture production and productivity in the region amid challenges affecting the sector.

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In a communique, the ministers, led by Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe, stressed the need for the countries to prepare for disease outbreaks, particularly the African Swine Fever (ASF), two novel foot and mouth disease virus serotypes and many others.

“Ministers urged member states to mainstream and implement the disaster risk reduction mainstreaming guidelines for the agriculture sector which included practising environmentally friendly and green agriculture production,” the statement reads.

At the one-day meeting, according to Sadc secretariat, the agriculture ministers also urged the member states to fully implement actions approved by the United Nations food systems summit, which transforms the way the world produces and consumes food as a turning point in achieving and helping deliver progress on Sustainable Development Goals.

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Sadc Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration Thembinkosi Mhlongo underscored the need for the region to dig deeper in finding lasting solutions in the agriculture sector, which is pivotal to the region’s social economic growth.

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