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CropLife AME attended ‘The Voice of Africa’ conference on food security

n October 10th, our colleague Margaux, Director of Public Affairs & Communication CropLife AME had the privilege of participating in the ‘The Voice of Africa’ conference hosted by the University Mohammed VI Polytechnic in Morocco. The event aims to amplify the African perspective on the sidelines of The World Bank Group Annual Meetings and the International Monetary Fund currently underway in Marrakech this week.

The following points were highlighted:

  • The Africa Middle East region faces significant challenges in terms of food security.
  • Since the outbreak of Covid-19, hunger has increased by 19.7% in Africa.
  • There is a pressing need to feed a growing population with limited arable land while combatting the effects of climate change.
  • In comparison to other regions, agri-inputs in Africa are disproportionately low.
  • The health of the soil plays a crucial role in ensuring food security.
  • Reducing food loss and waste is a priority.
  • Collaboration among all stakeholders, including governments, farmers, and the private sector, is essential.
  • Science, technology, and innovation should be harnessed to address these challenges.
  • Sustainability in Africa should strongly emphasize addressing the food security challenge, explicitly focusing on the affordability and quality of food.
  • The integration of artificial intelligence in agriculture shows promise in resolving existing issues.
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CropLife AME team convened with the CropLife Egypt Board to address the vital topic of sustainable pesticide management

In early October, the CropLife Africa Middle East team convened with the CropLife Egypt Board to address the vital topic of sustainable pesticide management. They engaged in productive meetings with CropLife Egypt’s stewardship and regulatory committees, deliberating on ongoing and future initiatives and charting a clear path forward.

During the same week, CropLife Egypt marked a significant milestone by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Egypt’s Central Lab of Residue Analysis of Pesticides and Heavy Metals in Food (QCAP Lab). This accomplishment underscores CropLife Egypt’s unwavering commitment to initiatives that advance sustainable agriculture, protect farmers, and ensure a safe and reliable food supply in Egypt.

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CropLife AME and CropLife Egypt’s workshop on the transition towards sustainable food production in Egypt

On 3 October, CropLife Africa Middle East & CropLife Egypt co-hosted a workshop on ‘Food Security and Transition Towards Sustainable Food Production in Egypt: The Need for an African Localized Green Transition’, with actors across the food value chain.

CropLife AME was honoured to have as guest speaker Dr. Mohamed Abdel Megeed, Chairman of Agricultural Pesticide Committee (APC) Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Egypt, who opened the workshop.

During the workshop, diverse Egyptian stakeholders, from the public and private sector involved in the food value chain, exchanged insights on tackling the mounting pressures on food production and trade in Egypt, partly attributed to the direct and indirect impacts of the EU Green Deal, while simultaneously promoting sustainable agriculture practices. Among the concerns raised by Egyptian growers, the most significant one was the constant reduction of their toolbox of viable solutions available to them; “we face difficulties as we have less and less solutions available to fight pests, and we are not provided with viable alternatives, making it more and more difficult to grow foods, therefore impacting our revenue stream and livelihoods”.

In light of these challenges, CropLife Africa Middle East noted being in favor of the EU Green Deal’s objectives; however, the implementation should be tailored to a country’s specificities. CropLife Africa Middle East calls for an Africa localized green transition while emphasizing the importance of maintaining a safe and secure supply of food which should be non-negotiable and which can be achieved by recognizing the role of plant science tools, including crop protection products and plant biotechnology, in sustainable agriculture and food safety.
Please see below for some additional key takeaway messages of the workshop:

  • To ensure food security while transitioning towards sustainable food production in Egypt, an Africa localized green transition is needed
  • More research and data are needed to fully understand the impact of sustainability policies on food security in Egypt and in the region
  • Stakeholders across the food value chain have an opportunity to voice their perspectives and contribute to the discussion
  • Public-private partnerships are essential, and CropLife Africa Middle East encourages collaboration between governments and agri-food actors to implement strong stewardship measures and ensure the safe use of pesticides
  • The industry requires a supportive environment and enabling regulatory frameworks to innovate and find suitable alternatives to conventional pesticides, such as biologicals.
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Meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Syndicate of Agricultural Materials Traders and Producers Association (AMATPA) in Jordan

In September, CL AME Regional Director for MENA region was in Amman, Jordan, in order to meet with the Secretariat of the General Authority in the Ministry of Agriculture, the Administrative Board, and the member companies of the Syndicate of Agricultural Materials Traders and Producers Association (AMATPA) in Jordan, in order to discuss the challenges in the field of agriculture and the action plan for the coming months. This follows the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Agriculture and AMATPA association earlier this year.

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Participation of CropLife AME in a workshop on market compliance organised by aak-GROW/CropLife Kenya

Last week, our colleague Stella, Director of Regulatory Affairs at CL AME, participated in a workshop organized by aak-GROW/CropLife Kenya themed: Enabling Compliance to Market Requirements Amid Unfavorable Policy Changes. The workshop was an interactive session with team leads of relevant regulatory compliance agencies and business membership associations to deliberate on mechanisms to enhance farmer compliance to market requirements: local, regional, and global.

Stella provided an overview of global policy changes – notably in relation to the EU Green Deal and emerging policy issues such as Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) impact on food security and market access. The workshop recommended that all stakeholders represented collaborate in implementing measures that bring about farmer behavior change as one of the steps towards ensuring compliance.