The United Nations World Food Programme, WFP-Cameroon has engaged the government and stakeholders in dialogue forum on food system in the country.
The high level dialogue in Yaounde, was presided by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gabriel Mbairobe in the presence of the Minister of Women Empowerment and the Family, Marie-Thérèse Abena Ondoa and the Country Representative of the WFP-Cameroon, Wanja Kaaria.
It held simultaneously on zoom with the participation of other international actors.
Speaking during the session, the WFP-Cameroon Country Representative explained that to achieve zero hunger in Cameroon, it is essential to include youth, women and people living with disabilities in building a resilient food systems in the country.
For WFP-Cameroon’s Programme Policy Officer, Ibraima Hamadou, agriculture is the backbone of the country’s economy and no one must be left behind in ensuring food security.
“Here, we are promoting the social inclusion of youth, women and people with disabilities… We have to ensure no one is left behind as we know agriculture represent up to 30% of our GDP and it involves up to 70% of our people,” he stated, adding that;
“the food system consist of many different elements like the environment, food production and transformation, processing and up to the beneficiaries”.
Going by the Food System Summit 2021 Champion, Ntiokam Divine, the platform for inclusive dialogue was necessary following an initial findings aimed at formulating a roadmap for sustainable food security in Cameroon.
“…We started this programme in January 2021, with some independent consultations. We realised that there were some target groups that were not included in the whole process; persons with disabilities, rural women and youths because they are actually key actors to the food system transformation,” Ntiokam advanced.
He further posits that: “We are coming up with these stakeholders to join efforts to making sure no voice is left behind. Everybody at any time need to eat food, so let everyone be a champion to food system summit… I also have the 3Cs which I recommend everywhere I go; Climate, COVID-19 and Corporation…”
Meanwhile, recommendations at the end of the meeting were expected to be developed to fit into the national report for Cameroon’s position during the upcoming Food Systems Summit in New York, USA by September 2021.
Before the much anticipated summit, a pre-summit in Rome-Italy has been scheduled for July 26 to 28 this year.
This aims at involving a wide range of stakeholders from member states, governments to local elected officials, young activist to indegenous leaders, small holders farmers and scientist to identify ways to shape the future food systems so they can contribute to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs of the UN.