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FAO and SADC member states plan to develop regional agricultural mechanisation roadmap

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and development partners have launched a Technical Cooperation Project titled ‘Developing a Roadmap to Leverage Sustainable Agricultural Mechanisation for Climate Smart Agriculture (SAM4CSA) in Southern Africa’,  which seeks to address challenges around sustainable agricultural mechanisation in the region

The project was developed within the framework of the FAO Southern Africa flagship programme on SAM4CSA. The launch brought together more than 50 experts, government representatives and other stakeholders to create awareness on project objectives and engage partners and stakeholders at the national and regional levels on the process of formulating a roadmap to leverage sustainable agricultural mechanisation for climate smart agriculture (CSA) in the region.

“Effective and relatively smooth implementation of sustainable mechanisation for climate-smart agriculture in southern Africa requires the development of a roadmap for coordinated action at the subregional level that will guide countries to develop national sustainable agriculture mechanisation roadmaps tailored to their local contexts,” remarked Patrice Talla, FAO subregional coordinator for southern Africa during the project launch.   

During the launch, FAO presented the methodology to develop the roadmap for sustainable agricultural mechanisation for climate smart agriculture in the region. An overview of some key principles to be considered in developing an agricultural mechanisation roadmap was also presented. In early 2023, the project implementation team will organise a regional stakeholder consultative workshop that will involve the review of a draft regional roadmap developed with input from reports prepared by national consultants in each of the 16 SADC Member States

“Mechanisation falls under pillar one of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan for 2020-2030 and SADC’s objectives clearly speak to FAO’s strategic framework. The theme today is fully part of the implementation of SADC’s regional agriculture policy to increase production, productivity and competitiveness and address all the relevant aspects that are critical to transform agriculture,” said Domingos Gove, director of Food and Natural Resources in the SADC Secretariat in his welcome remarks during the launch.

By the end of the project, it is expected that a clear southern Africa regional roadmap and action plan endorsed by the member states, key stakeholders and development partners will be produced.