AGRICULTURE and Livestock Minister Given Lubinda has said extreme climate change is affecting nutrition and food security in the region as well as economic growth.

Mr Lubinda said climate change was having adverse effects on the continent’s food and nutrition security status and the livelihoods of people in rural areas.

He said in a speech read for him by his Permanent Secretary David Shamulenge during the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) regional policy dialogue in Lusaka yesterday.

He said climate change was threatening agriculture and the livelihood of many households in Zambia and Africa at large.

“There is need to develop climate smart agriculture as an adaptation and mitigation strategy to the changing climate,” Mr Lubinda said.

Climate smart agriculture was a pathway towards agricultural development, food and nutrition security which is aimed at increasing productivity and income.

Climate smart agriculture increased productivity in a sustainable manner and aimed at achieving the national food security and development goals.

Mr Lubinda said despite the adverse effects of extreme climate on production, Africa held enormous potential if the right agricultural policies were adopted and funded.

“Despite the adverse effects of extreme climate on agriculture the continent holds enormous potential if the right policies are adopted,” he said.

Recent experiences and studies on climate smart agriculture shows that there are no one size fits to all solutions. In this regards, climate smart agriculture practices needs to respond to different conditions to geography and other social dynamics.

FANRPAN board chairperson, Argent Chuula said the threat of climate change was a threat today more than ever before as climate change had negative implications in Africa on areas such as food security and economic development.

“According to the Fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), projections are that under medium scenarios many areas in Africa will exceed a two degree Celsius. This increase by the last two decades of this century will have big ramifications for agriculture and farmers’ livelihoods,” Mr Chuula said.

He said FANRPAN dialog would table issues such as favourable policies for climate smart agriculture, innovations and technology as well as finding ways of communicating climate smart agriculture to policy makers and farmers.

He commended Government for welcoming FANRPAN and hosting the Policy Dialogue Climate Smart Agriculture which could steer agricultural research and development into global efforts to advance Africa’s food and nutrition security