"Farmers have always been innovators. What they need are policies that protect them and increase their resilience to climate change," FAO's Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo said.
"They need access to information, technology, and investment, and they should be brought to the conversation on innovation," she added.
Semedo was speaking at the high-level Africa Food Security Leadership Dialogue hosted by the Rwandan government here on Monday and Tuesday in partnership with FAO, the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Bank.
Africa's food and agriculture sectors are among the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change, FAO said.
Small farmers and entrepreneurs and their families, whose livelihoods depend on rain-fed agriculture, are most threatened by climate change, it underlined.
Building resilience is among FAO's key development priorities in Africa, the UN agency stated. Resilience to climate change and other threats is crucial to sustainable development in the continent, whose population will top two billion by 2050, FAO underscored.
Hunger is on the rise in almost all areas of Africa and almost 20 percent of its population is undernourished - the highest rate of any continent, according to the latest FAO data.
Hunger and malnourishment is mostly driven by conflict and climate change and is especially critical in Eastern Africa, where 30.8 percent (133 million people) are struggling to get enough to eat, FAO figures show.
On Monday, participants at the Kigali summit endorsed a commitment to better support African countries to accelerate progress towards improved food security, FAO noted.
The summit's aim was to spur a unified response from governments and key development partners to help Africa's agriculture and food systems respond effectively to climate change.
Rwanda's President, Paul Kagame, and European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, were among 250 people who attended the summit, said FAO.
( With inputs from IANS )