AGRA President Urges African Leaders to Tackle Post-Harvest Losses that expose millions to famine annually » Capital News

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Dec 9 – AGRA President Agnes Kalibata has challenged African leaders, urging them to adopt innovative solutions to reduce post-harvest losses, which annually expose up to 300 million people to famine across the continent.

Dr. Kalibata spoke during the graduation ceremony of 77 emerging food systems leaders from the Center for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA) advanced leadership program. She emphasized that Africa’s food crisis is a man-made problem and can be reversed through intentional efforts to reform and fortify food systems.

The CALA program equipped its graduates with practical skills to effectively implement national flagship plans aimed at addressing Africa’s most pressing food security challenges. Dr. Kalibata highlighted that half of CALA’s graduates are dedicated to finding solutions to post-harvest losses, emphasizing that reducing such losses even by 40% could make a substantial impact on food production and change the narrative of hunger in Africa.

Dr. Kalibata stated, “If we save some of the food that we lose in the farms, we won’t be saying that Africa has 300 million people who are hungry.”

The food systems leaders, including nine from Kenya, form the second cohort of CALA graduates. They were honored with certificates after successfully completing a 16-month collaborative, hands-on, and customized program designed for senior and emerging leaders in Africa’s agriculture sector. Participants were selected from eight countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

CALA is an initiative led by AGRA in partnership with the African Management Institute and USAID’s Policy Link. Its primary goal is to empower and nurture the next generation of agricultural leaders in Africa.

One of the accomplished graduates, Ms. Florence Kariuki, an agriculture and climate finance expert from Kenya, shared her experience, describing the CALA program as an enlightening journey of self-awareness and personal development as a food systems leader. She expressed her determination to make a meaningful difference armed with the knowledge and practical skills acquired during the program.

Ms. Kariuki reflected, “I am completing CALA charged to make a difference, and armed with vital tools for leading and influencing others. Applying this knowledge and practical skills in my everyday engagements has been a true test that the experience was worth it and that this is an effective and unique program.”

This graduation marks the second cohort of CALA graduates, following the completion of the first cohort of 80 individuals last year.

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