KIGALI, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda has put much emphasis on upscaling programs to enable farmers to practice climate-smart agriculture to ensure food security.
Geraldine Mukeshimana, Rwandan minister of agriculture and animal resources, said climate-smart agriculture is key to addressing disastrous effects of climate change.
She told reporters on Thursday that Rwanda has shown resilience amid unreliable rainfall patterns and drought that severely stressed food security in 2016, increasing the number of African countries in need of food assistance.
"Given unpredictable weather conditions, we call upon all farmers to store enough food produce and take surplus to markets. We encourage farmers to adopt smart agriculture for increased agricultural productivity in the light of climate change," Mukeshimana said.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Crop Prospects and Food Situation report 2016, Rwanda is among few countries in Africa that are not in need of external assistance for food.
The report that was released in December last year indicates that rapid and uncertain changes in rainfall patterns and temperature regimes threaten food production and increase the vulnerability of African smallholder farmers.
FAO urges African countries to upscale programs meant to reach the target of 25 million farmers practicing climate-smart agriculture to achieve continental food security by 2025 set by the African Union.
Currently, in Rwanda has 45,000 hectares irrigated land and targets to irrigate up to 100,000 hectares of land by 2020 as part of climate-smart agriculture plan.
Agriculture in Rwanda accounts for a third of the country's GDP, employing about 80 percent of the total population. Enditem