Mayors commit to Windhoek Declaration on food security

25 Jul 2014 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 25 JUL (NAMPA) – The three-day workshop on food and nutrition security that ended here on Wednesday concluded with the signing of the Windhoek Declaration, which calls for urgent action at local and national level.
The Windhoek Declaration on food and nutrition security was signed by 38 mayors and village chairpersons and compiled by mayors, policy-makers, technicians, experts and representatives of civil society organisations.
Speaking at the closing ceremony on Wednesday, president of the Namibia National Mayors Forum (NNMF), Uilika Nambahu pledged the active support of its members towards tangible results in food security and the commitments towards prevention of food waste or food losses.
“We recognise the urgent need to act now at local and national level to address the challenges in food and nutrition security our country is facing today and ensure food and nutrition security for future generations. We commit to harmonising our efforts to tackling food and nutrition security in Namibia and build networks for multi-level stakeholder dialogue, partnerships, capacity building and implementation of follow-up actions,” she stressed.
The workshop was organised jointly by the World Future Council, the City of Windhoek, the City of Belo Horizonte in Brazil, and the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
Parties recommended that the Association of Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN) facilitate the establishment of an inter-municipal technical task force whose mandate is to engage further relevant stakeholders with a view towards implementing concrete recommendations and action plans that have been developed at the workshop.
Parties also acknowledged the fact that they need to develop and implement solutions that are fitting to their specific situations, including reviewing the policy and legal framework on national level; developing solutions for financing efforts on local level, and connecting political with technical will.
Meanwhile, speaking at the same occasion, FAO representative to Namibia Babagana Ahmadu raised the concern that urban and peri-urban agriculture are not yet included in the current review of the Local Authority Act.
“Urban and peri-urban agriculture are under pressure due to the lack of policy and regulatory framework and risks and limitations faced by the potential producers such as access to resources (water) and appropriate food safety capacity in handling, distributing, and access to markets,” he noted.
Ahmadu called on participants to consult with the FAO, which has extensive resources available at its Centre on Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture that can be assessed freely through the Food for Cities Network. He encouraged the participants to become members of the network.
As a starting point, FAO is also in a position to development a local policy framework and an action or investment plan for the following three to five years for implementation by the concerned local government authority, according to Ahmadu.