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African Leaders Pledge To Reprioritize Agriculture In National Policies At Food Security Meeting

At the conclusion of a meeting at the African Union in Addis Ababa, “African leaders pledged on Monday to reprioritize agriculture in their national policies and increase state spending to end hunger across the continent by 2025,” The Guardian reports, noting ministers “committed to working with the private sector, farmers’ groups, civil society and academia to increase productivity, while also addressing the underlying causes of malnutrition.” The newspaper writes, “Ministers promised to accelerate efforts to meet the targets of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which emerged from the Maputo agreement in 2003” and “committed African governments to spend 10 percent of national budgets on agriculture and increase productivity by six percent.” According to The Guardian, “Leaders also pledged to give women access to more land and credit — 70 percent of Africa’s agriculture workforce is female — and make the sector more attractive to young people by increasing the use of technology.” The newspaper adds, “The final declaration did not set out any concrete targets or cash commitments, and it will therefore fall to delegates at next year’s agriculture-focused A.U. summit to put flesh on the bones” (Ford, 7/2). In related news, Inter Press Service interviews José Graziano da Silva, director-general of the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about efforts to end hunger on the continent (Newsome, 7/2).