Addis Ababa March 12/2013 The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said food security situation has improved in East Africa countries.
Speaking at the opening of the 6th annual meeting of the sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa here Tuesday, FAO sub-regional Coordinator for Eastern Africa Dr. Modibo Traore said the food security situation is improved in 2012.
Dr. Traore , who is also FAO Representative to Ethiopia, the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa said the overall decrease of about 50 per cent in the percentage of undernourished in the sub-region is mainly driven by Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda.
Important efforts have been deployed by FAO to contribute to solving issues and improving food security status of the region, Dr. Traore said.
Agriculture State Minister Prof. Tekalign Mammo on his part said Ethiopia has been striving to boost agricultural production over the last few years.
Prof. Tekalign said the agriculture sector is expected to double agricultural output by the end of 2015 from its 2010 levels through the Growth and Transformation Plan.
He said the country will continue to implement strategic issues, among others, in the areas of climate resilient green economy, sustainable land management, agricultural intensification/growth, nutrition and food security priority areas.
The country has consistently managed to dedicate more than 10 per cent of the GDP to agriculture in line with the targets set by Maputo Declaration for the realization of Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program.
He also stressed the need for FAO and other development partners to continue support to Eastern African countries to realize agricultural growth and development.
Assistant FAO Director-General/Regional Representative for Africa, Maria Helena Semedo on the occasion said over the last decade, Africa has been home of six of the world's ten fastest growing economies.
Despite this encouraging scenario, food insecurity and malnutrition are still increasingly appearing on the continent's agenda as a call for urgent action in a context of a rapid growing population characterized by diverse dietary needs.
Integrated agricultural and socio-economic interventions, including innovative small-holder agriculture-based social protection programs are key to strengthen resilience and boost household food security and nutritional outcomes, the Director said.
Rural Economy and Agriculture Department representative with AU, Dr. Abebe Hailemichael told ENA that ongoing basin development and activities being carried out to build green economy will help Ethiopia to ensure food security in short time.
Representatives drawn from eight countries are taking part in the four-day meeting.