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Biodiversity loss threatens food security: FAO

FAO subregional co-ordinator, Patrice Talla

THE Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said Africa faces food security threats owing to biodiversity loss as a result of unsustainable agricultural practices.

FAO subregional co-ordinator, Patrice Talla, yesterday emphasised the dire consequences of neglecting biodiversity that Zimbabwe and other countries face.

“Biodiversity is the foundation of food and agriculture, and its loss can have severe consequences for the sustainability and productivity of our food systems,” Talla said yesterday.

Talla was speaking at a workshop on Taking action on biodiversity for food and agriculture in Africa, hosted by FAO in Harare.

He stressed the importance of promoting biodiversity and ecosystem-based practices as a key factor in achieving sustainable food and agriculture.

“It promotes biodiversity and ecosystem-based practices to support shifts towards sustainable agricultural paradigms, which are fundamental to efforts to increase the resilience, sustainability and productivity of food and agricultural systems, sustain livelihoods and enhance food security and nutrition around the world,” he said.

Talla, however, commended Zimbabwe's efforts in mainstreaming biodiversity in its agricultural policies.

“FAO has been working closely with Zimbabwe in mainstreaming biodiversity in agricultural policies, including the agro-ecology promotion policy, the agro-biodiversity policy framework, and the animal genetic resource strategy.”

Lands and Agriculture deputy minister Vangelis Haritatos said climate change impacts worsened the food security threats.

“Climate change, habitat destruction and invasive species are just a few of the threats that require urgent attention and collective action. If left unchecked, these challenges could have devastating effects on food security, nutrition and livelihoods of millions on the continent,” Haritatos said.

Zimbabwe is battling the impacts of climate change as seen in recurring droughts and natural disasters due to ever changing weather patterns.

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