Associate Vice President for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has disclosed that the adverse impact of climate change on the Africa region is hampering their efforts to unlock potentials in the agriculture value chain on the continent.
Mr. Donal Brown argued that in Africa, agriculture’s share of the labour force in most countries was falling at varying rates, but the absolute numbers of people employed and labour productivity in the sector have risen freshly.
“Climate change is one of the major dynamics of change affecting rural youth livelihoods; it is having significant effects on the countries in which the rural youth population is concentrated and on the sectors in which they will be looking for employment opportunities,” he said.
Speaking to this reporter in an interview, the Vice President revealed that Climate change is a youth issue because most countries in which the youth population accounts for a sizeable share of the total population also depend heavily on agriculture adding a sector that is highly exposed to climate change.
The Associate Vice President was in Ghana to participate in the Africa Green Revolution Forum 2019 with the theme “Grow Digital: Leveraging digital transformation to drive sustainable food systems in Africa” at the International Conference Centre here in Accra.
The Africa Green Revolution Forum is a platform for global and African leaders to develop actionable plans that will move African agriculture forward.
“Agricultural sectors have adapted to climate change and can absorb increasing numbers of young people even while the importance of agriculture in the economy decreases as the structural transformation process proceeds” he said.
Mr. Brown urged government to leverage on new agriculture technologies to unlock potentials in the agriculture value chain in the country to stimulate economic growth and job creation.
“The subject that brings us together today is one of the major challenges facing the world in general and the West African States in particular in the 21st century, this situation requires a strong political decision, which in turn requires great solidarity and frank international collaboration” he pointed out.
“We had a meeting with His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic, today to have a conversation around Agricultural sector and climate change; all responses from him showed there was the political will to invest and support private sector in their quest to expand infrastructure and policy changes that will improve access to land and markets” he revealed.
“As you know, the economy of almost all countries in the African region is still dominated by the primary sector and rainfed agriculture remains the main source of livelihoods, employing more than 60% of the population, but with low productivity, contributing only 35% of GDP” he said.
Discourse to this reporter, Former Jomoro MP says if Africans and the private sector want to achieve their goal of restoring land and create million green jobs then women must be at the centre of the decision process.
Samia Yaba Nkrumah said inclusive authority and social justice at all levels must protect the rights of all humans irrespective of race or colour.
“In many of the dry, agricultural areas of the world, it is traditionally women who devote time and effort to the land; grow, process, manage and market most of the food and other natural resources that come from the earth” the daughter of Ghana’s first Prime Minister, Kwame Nkrumah said.