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Half Of World Population Not Well Fed, Malnourished – Expert

Mr Ernest Aubee, Head, Agriculture Division, ECOWAS Commission says half of the world’s population are not well fed, 3.4 billion suffer hunger, malnutrition, and obesity.

Aubee made the assertion during an online presentation on the ` Agro-ecology way to ensuring food security and sustaining the environment’, organised by Journalists Go Organic Initiative.

He described agroecology as the application of the science of ecology to agricultural systems that seeks to develop an ecological structure that does not need external inputs.

He noted that agroecology practice allows the necessary interaction among species for the system to work better.

Aubee, who is in charge of Food and Nutrition Security programmes at the ECOWAS Commission frowned at the rise in global hunger and malnutrition, attributing the rise to limited food security.

"Even with the global rise in hunger and malnutrition, about 33-40 per cent of the food produced in agro-industrial chains is still wasted in production, transport or thrown away.

"Poor agricultural productivity, poor management of agro-ecological resources for agricultural production, over-reliance on non-renewable resources for agricultural production lead to shortage of food.

"Other limitations include poor funding of the agricultural sector, inadequate knowledge on agroecological management, poor institutional capacity, coordination and networking and linkage between farmers and research institutions as well as climate change effects’’.

He, therefore, called the right policies and implementation strategies to be able to develop Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) in West African Region.

"These policies must be backed with the right investments, regulatory framework, institutional arrangements and capacity development.

"To get our political leaders to accept EOA, we must always provide empirical evidence of the benefits of EOA over conventional agriculture as seeing is believing.

"Research on EOA is also lacking, so we must have a critical mass of researchers in our countries and include EOA in our curriculum of tertiary educational institutions’’.

He added that agroecological practices mitigate climate change as it is a system that has high productivity, efficiency, and biodiversity with high recycling rates.

"It use low external inputs, resilient and efficient in use of local resources, and has a high level of synergy and integration.

"It has its roots in ecology, applying the understanding of natural ecosystems and comparing these to mechanized agroecosystems.

He, therefore, called for intensive and sustained awareness creation on the benefits and opportunities of EOA.

"It should be a continuous process at all levels of society which requires partnership with the media, CSOs, NGOs, private sector and all stakeholders including farmers,’’ he added.

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