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Eswatini Ministers Advocate for Blue Economy and Agrifood Transformation at FAO Conference

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MBABANE, Eswatini – In a collaborative stride towards sustainable development, the Minister of Agriculture, Mandla Tshawuka, together with his counterparts from the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, attended the 33rd Africa Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Moroccan International Trade Fair. The delegation played a pivotal role in deliberations centered on the Blue Economy and the transformation of agrifood systems, crucial topics for the future of global food security and environmental stewardship.

Minister Tshawuka, during his engagement at the conference, underscored the imperative for landlocked nations, specifically Eswatini, to actively participate in aquatic food systems. He advocated for FAO’s support in nurturing the Kingdom’s nascent fisheries sector, highlighting the dual challenge of fostering sustainable practices while combating prevalent issues such as overfishing and bycatch.

In a session dedicated to agrifood, the Minister presented Eswatini’s comprehensive approach to revamp its agrifood systems in the face of climate change. The country’s strategy rests on four pillars: expanding dam infrastructure to support irrigation, adopting climate-smart agricultural practices, promoting value addition through agri-processing and research, and enhancing climate change resilience, particularly in vulnerable communities.

“These discussions are a testament to Eswatini’s commitment to aligning with global trends and innovations in the realm of sustainable food production and environmental conservation,” remarked Minister Tshawuka. “Our presence here is a clarion call for collaborative efforts to forge a sustainable path forward for our agrifood systems.”

The FAO conference serves as a confluence for sharing knowledge, aligning strategies, and forging partnerships that underpin the pursuit of the Blue Economy—a concept that integrates economic growth, social inclusion, and the preservation of environmental sustainability.

Eswatini’s delegation at the FAO conference positions the nation as a proactive participant in the global dialogue on food security and environmental sustainability. The Ministers’ participation and the points raised at the conference will inform national policies and strategies aimed at achieving food security, economic growth, and climate resilience.

As the conference proceeds, insights and outcomes from these high-level discussions will guide the formulation of actionable strategies that can be adapted to the unique challenges faced by Eswatini and similar landlocked countries.

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