It has been a year of great impact and consistent resilience by smallholder farmers. Coming out of a lockdown that crippled the whole economy, coupled with extreme weather conditions affecting productivity, increased inflation, insecurity amongst other issues, smallholder farmers have continued to produce food for us, ensuring that food availability is upheld. The resilience spirit of these farmers cannot be overemphasized, and their contribution cannot be neglected, they are the champions working assiduously to achieving food security.

Interestingly, the year has revealed the many opportunities that are yet to be explored in the agricultural sector both at the farm and market level, especially in developing countries; knowledge gaps that can still be filled, technology infrastructure that should be critically prioritized, market access that can still be made easy, information that can be more simplified for the major value chain actors, policies that are developed based on accurate and appropriate evidence, political will power that's ingrained in overall society development, and implementation that's holistic in approach. We can only achieve more if we genuinely put more effort in the appropriate direction and with utmost sincerity and intention to ensure that human development becomes the main focus in the agricultural sector.

In reality, we are still far away in achieving food security, as the tides seem against smallholding. However, our commitment against all odds is evident in our little win of consistently producing food, even in worse conditions. You are the real heroes and I celebrate you today. Farmers all over the world have shown a different dimension to resilience; they are not only bouncing back but they are doing it better, more strategically and faster. Always remember, we need to brace up in the new year and I can assure you that we will be closer to achieving food security than we thought.

See you soon in the new year, with love from me.