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FAO/Amos Gumulira

FAO aims for sustainable mechanization of farming, ‘the backbone of the African economy’

“Agriculture is the backbone of the African economy”, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and combined with the challenges of a growing population, the organization is now joining forces with the African Union to develop a way of mechanizing farming throughout the continent in a sustainable way.

More than 75 percent of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa use only hand tools, and with “zero hunger” the target by 2025, the UN African Union has pledged to banish the hand hoe.

Top photos: OCHA CAR/Yaye N. SENE; Bottom photos: IFAD

Growing new lives for rural women in Sudan & CAR aid chief

Welcome to our latest UN and Africa podcast, from UN News.

We’ll be hearing from Sudan, where a micro-financing project is changing the lives of rural women farmers, and we hear from the deputy chief of the UN mission in the Central African Republic on how armed groups are “spreading terror” stoking fear and anger among civilians forced to flee their homes.

FAO/Roberto Cenciarelli

Countryside food producers suffering most from poverty

Farmers producing 80 per cent of the world’s food are suffering the most from poverty and malnutrition, according to the deputy chief of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

That paradox is one of the major challenges facing FAO as it tries to help countries reach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said Maria Helena Semedo, speaking at UN Headquarters where she was attending the recent high level political forum on the SDGs.