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Leading world agricultural experts, scientists, value chain actors, farmers and policymakers arrive in Nairobi next week to chart the way forward on how to substantially and sustainably reduce the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers in the African continent. The PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) is an interested party in anything biodiversity because of their interconnectedness with climate change and all the issues around it.

PACJA representatives therefore attended a meeting today in Nairobi, for the Press and partners’ briefing on the conference that will also discuss the dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and define strategies for increasing the uptake of agroecological programmes and initiatives at the 1st International Conference on Agroecology Transforming Agriculture & Food Systems in Africa.

The event will be hosted by the World Food Preservation Centre (WFPC), IFOAM Organics International (IFOAM) and Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) and their local and international partners.

The partners aim to facilitate the establishment of truly sustainable food and agriculture systems in Africa. The three-day conference, will take place at the Safari Park Hotel from June 18th to 21st, 2019. The official opening ceremony will take place on June 18th, 2019 from 8.30am – 1pm.

The theme is: “Reducing Synthetic Fertilizers and Pesticides by Scaling up Agroecology and Promoting Ecological Organic Trade.”

The other purpose of the conference is to facilitate the establishment of truly sustainable food and agriculture systems in Africa and sharing of the FAO Scaling up Agroecology Initiative for introduction in Eastern Africa. The conference will also showcase opportunities to scale up Ecological Organic domestic and regional trade in East Africa.

The Conference will bring together over 500 participants and 30 exhibitors from various countries who have a strong interest in the growth and development of the agroecological sector. These include policy makers, representatives from various Ministries and counties, leaders of civil society organisations, practitioners, development partners and the academia. Key value chain actors including local producers & smallholder farmers have also confirmed participation. Further, the Conference has confirmed attendance of internationally renowned high-profile speakers including; Dr Josefa Sacko (AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture), Prof Gilles Eric Seralini from France, Prof. Hans Herren from USA, Prof. Tyrone Hayes from USA, Dr. Judith Carmen from Australia, Prof Ratemo Michieka from Kenya, Dr Million Belay from Ethiopia and Dr Darcy Ogada from Kenya.

“We are humbled and honoured to host this important event which is coming at a time when there is a growing interest in agroecological initiatives because they are increasingly seen as part of an innovative and sustainable response to the challenges facing our food and agriculture systems,” Dr David Amudavi, Executive Director, Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT), said at the event.

“IFOAM is delighted to be partner in this conference. As global change agent for true sustainability in agriculture we aim for a board adoption of agroecological practices in line with the principles of organic agriculture. This conference sets out the important landmarks for transformation of agriculture so that it serves people and planet, instead of the chemical input industry, said Louise Luttikholt, Executive Director, IFOAM Organics International.

From a Kenya country perspective, this conference will provide an opportunity for learning and sharing of experiences amongst various actors in the sector with a view to stimulating, promoting and advocating for increased systematic achievements of the Big Four Agenda, especially Agenda 4 on food security.

The overall aim of the event is to facilitate the establishment of truly sustainable food and agriculture systems in the continent.

The media and partners’ briefing meeting was held at a Nairobi hotel today.

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