14 September 2022: Dr Thembinkosi Mhlongo, the SADC Deputy Executive Secretary – Regional Integration met virtually with Dr Patrice Talla Takoukam, Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa (SFS) and FAO Representative in Zimbabwe to share updates on implementation of programmes and activities under the SADC-FAO Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Dr. Mhlongo emphasized the role of FAO in assisting SADC to increase agriculture sector production, productivity and competitiveness, and intra-regional trade. He commended FAO for the groundbreaking achievements in agricultural information system, food security, notably crop and livestock development, including animal and plant pest/ diseases programmes, among others.
For his part, Dr Takoukam stated that FAO values the cooperation with the SADC region in providing support and assistance to Member States, stating that the relationship between the two parties has been productive in accomplishing a great deal of progress in the development of the agriculture sector in the SADC region.
FAO is working with SADC Member States to mobilize resources to provide support for flagship programmes by enhancing productivity, efficiency, competitiveness and catalyzing sustainable investments and trade in southern Africa's food systems.
FAO co-chairs the SADC-International Cooperating Partner (ICP) thematic group for Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources issues.
The meeting between the SADC Deputy Executive Secretary – Regional Integration and FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa precedes an engagement between the two parties which will be held later in September 2022 to discuss the partnership and other activities related to the improved agri-food systems in the SADC Region.