KIGALI, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Improved and sustainable agriculture practices will eradicate hunger and poverty for many farming communities in Africa, according to experts.
Agricultural experts made the remarks on Monday at the opening of an African regional forum on agriculture held in Rwanda's capital Kigali.
The three-day conference organized by Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) will discuss how the principles for sustainable food and agriculture can strengthen contribution of agriculture, forestry and fisheries to sustainable development.
"Improved and sustainable agriculture practices in Africa, especially for the small-scale farmers, addresses hunger and also helps in poverty alleviation. When we talk about sustainable agriculture it's about using what we have now without jeopardizing what we need in the future," said Attaher Maiga, FAO Country Representative to Rwanda.
He noted that traditional subsistence agriculture has been persistent among small-holder farmers in most African countries, leading to increased hunger, starvation and poverty on the continent.
According to Geraldine Mukeshimana, Rwanda minister of agriculture and animal resources, agriculture is the major driving force of the African economy and, for those countries without substantial mineral resources, often the whole economy.
"We have seen increased income levels for farmers across categories, increase in productivity, and reduction in cost of production due to improved agriculture," she said, adding "we are looking forward to a vibrant agriculture sector that not only contributes to the economy but also to food security and nutrition."
The meeting was attended by about 40 delegates including senior government officials from agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector from across Africa and beyond. Enditem