The presentation started by looking at the current food system. It was observed that there has been continued hunger and malnutrition, falling productivity and reduced incomes, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, pest resistance and disease vulnerability and lastly effects of Climate change and resilience breakdown (Unreliable weather patterns). As a result of all these the following were some of the consequences:-
• Agricultural production and productivity have remained relatively low and has declined in recent years (7 NDP).
• Poverty has remained high at 54.5 % (8.6 million people) mostly in rural areas (76.6 %).
• Declining contribution of the agric. sector to GDP:
• 23.8% in 2000
• 6.8% in 2014
• 10% in 2016
• 7.8% in 2017
• 5.4% in 2018
The following recommendations were brought out.
- Policy and programmes to be anchored on food sovereignty/AE –the right of people to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods.
- Food sovereignty puts producers and consumers at the heart of food systems and policies
- Development of an Agro-ecological standalone policy/programme
- There is more reliance on government subsidies which is not good for farmers. It is important to have a subsidy system in place that will support other things than just restricting it.
Suggested way forward from the meeting
- CSOs to convene a meeting to raise awareness for parliamentarians on critical issues around the biosafety and biotechnology policy that need strengthening and the risks associated with GMOs. Meeting to target parliamentary committee on:
iii. Science and technology and
- The need to up debate on GMOs
- The need for CSOs to speak one voice on the E-voucher and FISP
- The need for awareness raising for the committee on the current global trends around Agriculture.