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26.10.2005 General News

African Commission on Agriculture Statistics meets

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Accra, Oct. 26, GNA - The 19th session of the African Commission on Agriculture Statistics (AFCAS) is underway in Maputo, Mozambique, with malnutrition and food security on top of the agenda. The meeting is taking place against the background of many African countries continuing to face the challenge of eradicating poverty and finding long-lasting and sustainable solutions to problems associated with malnutrition and food insecurity.

"For most African countries, poverty and food insecurity are fundamentally rural problems," a statement from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to the GNA said on Wednesday. It noted that the large majority of the poor and undernourished people lived in rural areas and were dependent on rural-based activities for their livelihoods.

"Yet, despite its unquestionable importance, it is probably the sector of the economy about which the least in terms of hard facts and statistics is known."

The statement said relevant and accurate statistics on food; agriculture and rural sector would provide immeasurable support in the battle to break the vicious circle of poverty and food insecurity. Mr Oloche A. Edache, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, said policies were designed on the basis of available information.

He said programmes and projects aimed at increasing agricultural productivity, stabilizing food supply, developing and improving agricultural services and infrastructures for a more equitable access to food could only succeed with reliable statistics.