Global leaders and international Agric experts have agreed that the time has come to weigh the challenges facing the world’s most vulnerable countries- Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in the areas of promoting agricultural investment and using modern technologies to achieve food security.
At the Fifth United Nations (UN) conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC5), government leaders and experts called for the LDCs to be supported through, among others, promoting agricultural investment and using modern technologies to achieve food security.
Among the many challenges they face, the world’s least developed countries (LDCs) remain hotspots of chronic and acute food insecurity, with an average prevalence of chronic undernourishment of 22.1 per cent, and in some countries, reaching more than 50 per cent.
Despite some progress since 2020, the overall situation has worsened over the past decade due to conflict and climate shocks, as well as economic and demographic pressures. During a panel discussion at LDC5, the president of Poland, Andrzej Duda called for support for LDCs in agricultural and rural development.
He said: “together we can achieve more. It is so important to support the least developed countries in agricultural and rural development so that they could ensure their own food security.”
Poland, which he said was the fifth largest food producer in the European Union with a 10.5 per cent share in EU production, “stands as an example of success that can be achieved by investing in agriculture and modernisation of the agrifood sector.”
Duda argued that the LDCs should be helped with implementing various solutions to modernise their domestic agrifood sectors, including artificial intelligence tools, navigation systems, satellite images and digital platforms for farmers.
Speaking on climate smart agriculture, minister of Environment Climate Change and Natural Resources in Gambia, Rohey John Manjang stated that, like many LDCs, The Gambia is a mostly agrarian country, with a large proportion of the population relying on subsistence farming.
According to her, the effects of climate change, such as higher temperatures and changing rain patterns, are affecting the productivity of the country’s crops, leading to lower yields and reduced incomes for the farmers.
“We need finance to come our way. We need support from the developed countries. We need support from the bigger emitters, at least to neutralize the situation on the ground,” stressed the minister. While speaking on building resilient agrifood systems in LDCs, the chief economist of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Máximo Torero said: ‘we need to build resilience in our agrifood systems.’
He explained that LDCs are the most vulnerable nations to agrifood systems’ risk and uncertainty brought by climate change, water stresses, pests and diseases, trade and macroeconomic policies and unexpected events. “Our agrifood systems operate and will continue to operate under risk and uncertainty, and LDCs will be the most vulnerable countries to this,” he stressed.