A regional farmers’ organization on Monday urged east African governments to support small farmers in order to boost food security.
Elizabeth Nsimadala, president of the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF), told an agricultural forum in Nairobi that the region is dominated by smallholder farmers who contribute the bulk of the total food supply.
“It is thus impossible for eastern Africa to end hunger and reduce poverty unless government investment is deployed to significantly increase production and incomes of smallholder farms,” Nsimadala said during the launch of Farmers’ Organizations for African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries Project.
The region faces perennial food shortages despite its huge potential for agricultural production, Nsimadala said.
She noted that smallholder farmers face challenges across the entire value chain, especially in the acquisition of improved seeds varieties, fertilizer, insurance, reduction of post-harvest losses and accessing markets.
According to the regional farmers’ organization, most farmers engage in subsistence agriculture, which is associated with low productivity.
“We are urging farmers to engage in commercial farming so that they can improve their social-economic status,” Nsimadala said. Enditem