Minister: Green farming the way to go
Johannesburg - Environmentally aware farming practices could have the dual advantages of limiting climate change and feeding the world's poor, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Saturday.
"Being able to transform agriculture to feed a growing population in the face of a changing climate without hindering the natural resource base, will not only achieve food security goals, but also help mitigate the negative effects of climate change," she said in a speech planned for delivery in Durban.
The speech marks the opening of the Agriculture and Rural Development Day conference which was attended by Cop 17 delegates.
Joemat-Pettersson said the decisions made at the conference had the potential to improve the prospects of feeding earth's growing population.
By the year 2050 food production needs to increase by 70%, while scientists predicted climate change to reduce yields by between 10 and 20%, she said. "Today, already, one in seven people will go to bed hungry, that's nearly one billion people."
Joemat-Pettersson said greater planning for development of rural areas was needed, as these were the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of the population.