The 2019 High Level Policy Dialogue on ‘Enhancing Climate Resilience and Food and Nutrition Security’ was held from the 5th to the 7th of November in Kigali, Rwanda. The Policy Dialogue was convened by the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) in collaboration with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH ‘Adaptation to Climate Change in Rural Areas in Southern Africa (ACCRA) programme, the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA), Southern Africa Trust (SAT), CARE International, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Helvetas, OXFAM, the GCRF-AFRICAP - Agricultural and Food-system Resilience: Increasing Capacity and Advising Policy, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), and with the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources and the SUN Alliance of Rwanda.
109 delegates from 19 countries attended the Policy Dialogue. The delegates represented the following stakeholder groupings:
• 9 Government representatives;
• 3 RECs • 2 Intergovernmental Organizations;
• 24 Civil Society;
• 23 Research Institutions;
• 6 Private Sector;
• 8 Farmer Organisations;
• 5 (3%) Partners and Donors; and
2. Dialogue Sub-Themes
The 2019 Regional Policy Dialogue was anchored on the following sub themes :
• Agriculture delivering on Nutrition
• Enhancing climate resilience of food systems and agriculture value chains
• Fostering investment in CSA through innovative engagement in sub-Saharan Africa •
High protein commodities for improved resilience to climate change and household nutrition
• Postharvest management for improved food safety and quality
Delegates at the 2019 Regional Policy Dialogue resolved that :
1. All non-state actors to actively pursue partnership with the state as it provides a clear means of ensuring the achievements of the SDG targets on food security and nutrition.
2. Let us move from ‘talk shows’ to ‘action’ and meet the call and expectation of the state actor – the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) is looking forward to the implementation of the recommendations of this policy dialogue
3. We need to follow a structured approach towards achieving desirable scaling of innovations in food systems. We need to standardise our approaches to align with the 8 guiding principles ;
i) Innovations scale as part of packages
ii) Scaling strategies need to be context-specific (no one-size-fits-all) i
ii) Innovation with lowest readiness constrains scaling
iv) Successful scaling is defined
v) Numbers are only part of the story
vi) Evidence-based assessment of proven innovations
vii) Resource use efficiency should guide scaling strategy development
viii) Partnerships should be fit-for-purpose
4. We need to continue promoting the focus on agriculture delivering positive nutritional outcomes, as opposed to the traditional focus on ‘food security’.
5. Whilst our focus is on ‘under-nutrition’, we must raise awareness and act on the problem of Non-Communicable Diseases’ (NCDs).
6. We need to invest in capacitating policy makers and advisors on scenario planning to enable cohesive and integrated policy planning and implementation.
7. We must not be apologetic to tap into funding streams that have been established as part of global climate action. Our government systems (continue to/need to) prioritize creating an enabling environment to directly access climate finance. Partnerships among state and non-state actors and development partners, coordination mechanisms, dialogues and innovative forms of communicating investment proposals to scale climate smart agriculture are crucial to unlock climate finance to increase resilience of our farmers.
8. We must continue exploring the use of innovative African communication approaches to amplify the voices of smallholder farmers, however, not to project an image of an Africa that is constantly begging.
9. Explore ways of re-configuring CSA to facilitate for viable public -private partnerships.
10. We need to ensure that indigenous seed and food systems are co-opted as part of the solution to attaining food sovereignty.
11. In as much as adaptation is the main focus for Africa, we must start prioritizing mitigation if we want to contribute to slowing down global warming to a maximum of 1.5 Degree Celsius. In the agriculture sector this can be achieved through reduced soil degradation caused by soil tillage, maintaining and increasing carbon stocks in the soil and vegetation, appropriate use of fertilizers and pesticides and enhanced rangeland management practices.
12. As we move to promote irrigation as a result of erratic rains, we need to invest in climate smart technologies that promote efficient water use and soil health.
13. Structured interventions in postharvest loss management and market access should be part of strategies to address food and nutrition insecurity.
14. We must leverage ICT and the empowerment of households on digital literacy to enhance their resilience to climate change and food and nutrition security.
15. Whilst attending to the above resolutions, to remain focused on Youth, Women and Children, being the most vulnerable groups. 16. Let us learn from Rwanda, given the country’s performance in the inaugural Biennial Review of the CAADP/Malabo Declaration commitments.
It is now time for the non-state actor to provide meaningful support to the state actor. There is need to move from talk shows, to action. The continent’s ability to transform its agriculture rests on strict implementation regimes spurred by the collaborative efforts of state and non-state actors. The potential solutions to most of our challenges, including Climate Change and Nutrition, are known. We need to scale-up the adoption and application of the technologies and approaches that we know are capable of building the resilience of our smallholder farmers, whilst ensuring that our transformed agriculture delivers positive nutrition outcomes.