Cape Town - Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan has called for African countries to have "a voice in the ongoing global food security dialogue", according to a statement.
In a speech delivered on his behalf at the Caritas International annual conference in Vienna on Friday, Annan who is also Chairperson of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), outlined how food security for the world's poorest could be achieved by reforming global food systems.
He called for important structural reforms to make the most of Africa's agricultural potential.
"We need... to increase research into new crops and techniques which focus on the challenges of farmers and farming in the developing world. This must include how we can use new crop varieties and managing water so harvests can be increased and land helped to stay productive despite climate change," said Annan.
"Too often the interests of the developing world are overshadowed by the needs of large farming enterprises in the developed world."
Annan called for the rediscovery of common values and purpose to help the world's weakest and most vulnerable citizens.