Ireland committed to helping Africa tackle under-nutrition and poverty

Ireland is committed to sharing its agricultural experience to help Africa tackle under-nutrition and rural poverty, speakers heard at a conference in Trinity College Dublin.

The conference cited the recent launch of the €2m Africa Agri-Food Development Fund, underpinned by €4.8m in funding for partnerships between Irish and African higher education institutions.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said: “The Irish agri-food sector is starting to realise its full potential, but the road to get to where we are now has provided us with valuable lessons, many of which will also be of relevance to the African agri-food sector and which we are delighted to share. This experience will be made available through the Africa Agri-Food Development Fund.

“I am hosting a seminar for the agri-food sector on June 14 to discuss next steps in implementation of the fund. We know that the potential is there for Africa to achieve the development in its agri-food sector that has been achieved elsewhere and we stand ready to play our part in assisting them.”

Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello added: “Building a productive agriculture sector in Africa will help tackle under-nutrition and rural poverty across the continent. To succeed, we must all work together: African governments providing leadership; banks providing affordable credit, and partners — including donors — funding innovation and technical expertise.”

Other speakers at conference included Prof David Taylor, Department of Geography, Trinity College; Ambassador of Kenya, Ireland, Catherine Muigai Mwangi; Dr Philip Damas, University of Agriculture, Tanzania; and Kevin Friel of the Irish Dairy Board.


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