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FANRPAN 2009 Food Security Policy Leaderhip Awards
3 September 2009


Download file Speech by FANRPAN chairman, on the occassion of the 2009 FANRPAN Food Security Policy Leadership Award ceremony (119Kb < 1min)
Mr Sindiso Ngwenya

Maputo: President Armando Emilio Guebuza of Mozambique was this week presented with the 2009 FANRPAN Food Security Policy Leadership Award for spearheading his country's Green Revolution. The Award was presented at a special ceremony in Maputo by the Chairman of the FANRPAN Board of Governors and Secretary-General of COMESA, Mr Sindiso Ngwenya.

The Prime Minister of Mozambique, H E Luisa Diogo, accepted the award on behalf of President Guebuza, noting that the award reinforced Mozambique's resolve to put in practice the Rome Declaration on World Food by 'reaffirming the right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food'. This is consistent with the universal right of access to adequate food and the fundamental human right of everyone to be free from hunger.

The award -- whose inaugural winner was the President of Malawi, H E Dr Bingu wa Mutharika -- recognises individuals or organizations that have made effective and evident contributions towards food security and poverty alleviation in the region.

Microsoft Corporation, sponsors of the FANRPAN Food Security Policy Leadership Award, will contribute comprehensive software solutions to problems affecting farmers and will invest in the improvement of community multi-media centres in Mozambique.

Mozambique has made huge progress on ensuring the political, social and economic environment to eliminate poverty and hunger. In the last five years, the level of poverty decreased by 15%, testifying to President Guebuza's efforts to address hunger and malnutrition in Mozambique.

In the citation, FANRPAN CEO Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda highlighted that Southern Africa is neither poor nor incapable of feeding itself, but lacks fresh initiatives which empower, encourage and support efforts to promote food security, policy development and poverty alleviation. As part of the award, the CEO announced benchmarks against which the Mozambican government would be evaluated.

These include;
  1. government budgetary allocation to agriculture in line with CAADP's call for at least 10 percent investment in agriculture;
  2. land under irrigation, given Mozambique's 3.3 million hectares with potential for irrigation and abundant water resources;
  3. the uptake of fertilizer usage by small holder farmers;
  4. the uptake of improved seed, and
  5. the empowerment of women.
In Mozambique, agriculture is essential for economic growth, poverty reduction and food security. The sector employs more than 80 percent of the labour force and generates 25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Under the leadership of H E President Guebuza, the Government of Mozambique approved the Food Security and Nutrition Strategy (ESAN II), which includes food security as a human right. The Government also approved the Action Plan for Food Production which is instrumental in reducing the food deficit of main staple foods in Mozambique during the three years (2008-2011).

During the same event, FANRPAN presented Ms Cellina Cossa with the inaugural FANRPAN Civil Society Policy Movers and Shakers Award. Ms Cossa is the founder and President of the General Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, an organization of 10,000 peasants, 95 percent of whom are women. The 200 cooperatives linked to the UGC produce food for domestic household consumption and for trade. A former school teacher by training, Ms Cossa, had a vision for building food supply in her country and empowering the poorest people, most of whom are women. She started small cooperative groups of women growing vegetables to supplement family income. Initially some were reluctant to join but soon realised her vision. From a network of six cooperatives around Maputo these soon increased to more than 224. The vegetable farming soon expanded into other commercial enterprises such as poultry production and marketing, credit, insurance, industry, and construction. The ventures were complemented with training programmes to give women accounting, banking and project management skills. Today, Ms Cossa, is a source of inspiration as a fighter for food security and a proponent of an African Green Revolution led by women in Mozambique. In accepting, the Award, Ms Cossa paid tribute to the government of Mozambique and to the visionary members of UGC. Isabelle Coche, representing Crop Life International, a sponsor of the FANRPAN Civil Society Policy Movers and Shakers Award, said UCG provided an inspirational example of how cooperatives can help women farmers improve their livelihoods. She said women represent up to 70% of farmers in many African countries, and recognizing their role and empowering them is essential. Croplife International will sponsor Ms Cossa to go on a learning tour in London during which she will speak about the work of her organisation in empowering women.

FANRPAN Inaugural FANRPAN Civil Society Policy Movers and Shakers Award


FANRPAN Food Security Policy Leadership Award


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