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COMESA vows to fasten implementation of agricultural strategies

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March 24, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — Ministers of agriculture of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) announced on Friday that their countries would fasten the implementation of the agricultural development strategies.

In the Khartoum Declaration issued at the end of their two-day meetings here, the COMESA ministers stressed the importance to " expand agricultural production, improve agricultural productivity, enhance regional food security and to promote both intra and extra COMESA trade in agricultural commodities".

The declaration recalled the commitment which the COMESA had made to the Millennium Development Goals of cutting hunger in Africa by half and reducing child malnutrition in the continent by 40 percent by the Year 2015.

The ministers called on the COMESA member states to develop appropriate and bankable project proposals in the key areas of crop, livestock, fisheries and forestry development, and to take urgent measures to develop workable strategies and to increase the availability of agricultural inputs.

They also called on their countries to hasten efforts to expand the area of cultivated land under irrigation so as to address the current over-dependence on rain-fed agriculture.

The declaration reiterated the necessity to initiate programmes that address infrastructural challenges that hinder agricultural developments particularly in relation to the distribution of inputs, agricultural marketing and trade.

(Xinhua)

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