SADC members to address impacts of Climate change

Members States of Southern African Development Community (SADC) have been urged to consider regional approaches to address devastating impacts of climate change.

Minister of Agriculture, Robin Lowe made the remarks Friday during the official opening of the Second joint SADC Committee meeting for the Ministers for Agriculture and Food Security, and Fisheries and Aquaculture at Bingu Inter1 Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.

He said inter-country investments on water and natural resources are key in harnessing the gains whilst addressing some of the challenges within respective countries.

Lowe observed that the high rainfall and abundant vegetation would provide optimal conditions for the breeding and multiplication of pests such as the African Migratory Locusts, Desert Locusts and Brown Locusts in some parts of the region which may negatively impact on food security in the affected areas.

“Member states are encouraged to prepare timely response mechanisms to counter the threat,” he said.

Lowe: SADC member states are encouraged to prepare for timely response

The Minister added that the region experienced yet, another devastating set of storms and cyclones such as Ana and Gombe which had greatly compromised agriculture and fisheries sectors in selected member states.

He believes that the meeting would discuss strategies on how to contain or remedy such natural disasters and implement recommendations in the 2021/2022 Synthesis Report on the State of Food and Nutrition Security and Vulnerability in the region.

Lowe said member states’ efforts are vital in developing solutions for the high numbers of food insecure population.

“We are all reeling from the effects of COVID-19 which have left a devastating trail of both economic and social impacts. The disruption in various value chains due to preventive measures or its direct impact on individuals and families, has greatly compromised the livelihoods of our populations and crippled government business,” he stated.

A cross section of participants during the meeting

Lowe said there was no better way of dealing with COVID-19 and there has never been a model in as far as containing such a devastating pandemic is concerned.

He said cross-border effects of COVID-19 pandemic further cements the concept of regional integration among member states.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is awake up call for our interconnectedness despite these physical and political borders. With this comprehension at the back of our minds, we have every reason to believe in our pursuit of mutual agreements to work together on several fronts,” the Minister echoed.

SADC Deputy Executive Secretary responsible for Regional Integration, Dr Thembinkosi Mhlongo said the Agricultural and fisheries and Aquaculture sectors are critical sources of food and nutrition livelihoods and livelihood security, raw materials and means of income for both households and 1 revenues.

He said these sectors are important export earners and employ over 70 percent of the region’s population.