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Outcome statement of the Joint Meeting of SADC ministers responsible for agriculture and food security, and fisheries and aquaculture held on 22 May, 2020

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The Joint Meeting of SADC Ministers responsible for Agriculture and Food Security, Fisheries and Aquaculture met through video-conferencing on 22 May 2020, to review progress on the implementation of the SADC Programmes and related strategies on Agriculture and Food Security and Fisheries and Aquaculture with a focus on impacts of COVID-19 pandemic and proposed measures to be implemented by Member States. The meeting was attended by twelve Member States including Angola, Botswana, DRC, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Hon. Luhaga J Mpina, from the United Republic of Tanzania.
The SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena L. Tax, in her welcoming remarks welcomed all Honourable Ministers and their delegations. She applauded all Member States for their commitment to ensure continuity of business and participating in the virtual meeting, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. She also thanked all Member States for their effort towards the various measures taken in support to the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasising the need to work together in combating the current pandemic. The Ministers noted the various guidelines developed by the Secretariat for Member States to adopt and consider for implementation in support to mitigate challenges against the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. The guidelines were developed for both the Agriculture and Food Security, and Fisheries and Aquaculture sectors. The Ministers noted that the impact of COVID-19 will lead to a decline in the nutrition status of the vulnerable population due to insufficient access to foods, increase in household food insecurity, inadequate access to health, nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, which may result increased morbidities. The Ministers noted the outbreak of the African migratory locusts, which were reported in Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia, affecting cereal crops and pastures. The Ministers considered and approved the SADC Animal Genetic Resources Conservation and Utilisation Strategy and the SADC Strategy for Elimination of Dog-Mediated Human Rabies, for domestication and implementation for the Member States.
Finally, the Ministers thanked the United Republic of Tanzania for successfully hosting the Joint Meeting of Ministers responsible for Agriculture and Food Security, and Fisheries and Aquaculture, virtually, during this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic.