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Kibaki calls for rural farms in Africa

June 20, 2008 at 5:49 PM

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 20 (UPI) -- Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki urged African governments to tackle food production issues related to rapid population growth and urbanization.

Kibaki said at the 25th Food and Agriculture Organization regional conference for Africa in Nairobi that more than 60 percent of the African population is expected to be living in urban areas within the next two decades, The Nation reported Friday.

"Those engaged in agricultural production will, therefore be much fewer than is the case today. Yet, they will be expected to feed a rapidly growing population in both urban and rural areas," Kibaki said.

The president chided African governments for failing to establish secondary towns as a means of establishing a market for agricultural production.

Anna Tibaijuka, executive director of the U.N. Human Settlements Program, urged African nations to establish rural agricultural sectors.

"Africa is witnessing urbanization that is not in tandem with food production," she said at the conference.

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