United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

South Africa

Theme: Agriculture
Statement by South Africa - 24 February 2009
Chairperson, the South African delegation wishes to associate itself with the
statements made by Sudan on behalf of the G77 and China and with Senegal on
behalf of the African Group
South Africa would like to align itself with a call for a uniquely African Green
Revolution made by African Ministers of Agriculture at the High Level
Intersessional Meeting in Windhoek this year.
Chairperson, agriculture is the backbone of most African economies and is the
largest contributor to Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in many African Countries.
Yet, it is severely constrained by poor infrastructure, unfair terms of trade, high
tariffs, high cost of agricultural inputs, degradation of natural resources and the
ongoing food, energy and financial crises.
To address these challenges, South Africa would propose the following policy
options aimed at accelerating agricultural growth, enhancing food security, and
reducing poverty:
Enhanced efforts are needed to support programmes in Africa to increase
agricultural production in a manner that is compatible with sustainable
natural resource management approaches, and responsive to the impacts of
climate change.
There is a need to enhance access to agricultural inputs and appropriate
technologies , complemented by access to information, technical support
and effective extension service. These are important elements of a strategy to
increase agricultural production, which should also include sustainable
production practices, efficient irrigation systems and water technologies,
intensive production systems, integrated pest management practices, and
increased agricultural inputs and fertilizers in line with the Abuja Summit
Chairperson, agricultural trade is pivotal in promoting agriculture in Africa. In
order to facilitate the integration of African agriculture into global markets, it is
important to promote intra-African trade, South South co-operation, and urgent
finalization of the negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda.
Development of the agricultural industry depends on development and transfer
of new technologies. Intellectual property right (IPR) constitute a major
challenge in this context.
South Africa calls for, increased finance and investment in research and
technology development, including increased regional and inter-regional
These policy actions should address the needs of a wide range of users
especially women farmers, youth and resource poor farmers.
Finally, chairperson South Africa emphasises that these interventions must be
aimed at achieving food security in developing countries that are severely
affected by the food crisis.