Investment in science, technology critical for Africa’s agricultural growth
EExperts at the just-concluded Second High-Level Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa in Rwanda have called on African governments and regional economic blocs to increase funding for science, technology and technology. Innovation (ITS) and create an enabling environment for technology. adoption in agriculture.
This move would allow the continent to benefit from modern agricultural innovations, such as biotechnology, including gene editing and other emerging technologies for sustainable economic growth.
Organized by AATF in collaboration with the African Union-NEPAD Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Rwandan government, the experts said the intervention would increase the livelihoods of millions of people across the continent. .
Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Geraldine Mukeshimana, said investing in CTI was key to developing and building sustainable and resilient food systems.
He said it was unfortunate that Africa was not a food power, but that it had the most arable land in the world. He attributed this to insufficient use of technological innovations to increase productivity, eliminate post-harvest losses and add value to agricultural products.
He called for the effective implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024) which was adopted by the African Union in 2014.
“This strategy requires sustained investment in research and development (R&D), as well as putting new technologies and innovations in the hands of stakeholders in key sectors of our economies, including agriculture,” he said.
Hon. Mukeshimana said Rwanda would take advantage of the CTI to become a globally competitive knowledge-based economy and to address socio-economic challenges.
Dr. Canisius Kanangire, AATF executive director, said the integration of the CTI into the African development agenda would boost economic growth, increase agricultural productivity and ensure food and nutrition security.
“Creating an enabling environment for technology and innovation is an essential requirement to enable African countries to address the constraints that impede agricultural, environmental and health development,” said Drs. Kanangire.
He noted that investing in new agricultural technologies for Africa, from better seeds to digital tools and machinery, would transform agriculture into an engine of economic growth that will benefit all sectors of society.
“Most Africans are small farmers, and agriculture is their best opportunity to secure a more promising future. But millions remain impoverished because, unlike farmers in other parts of the world, they do not have constant access to innovation. affordable and specific agricultural products that allow them to thrive, ”he added.
Mr. Martin Bwalya, Acting Director of Knowledge Management and Program Evaluation at AUDA-NEPAD, called for the adoption of sustainable agriculture technologies in all agricultural systems.
“Farmers need to adopt appropriate technology and management practices in the specific agro-ecological environment within the appropriate policy framework for them to be implemented,” he noted.
He said agriculture is becoming more integrated into the global food chain and the market, while environmental, food safety and quality and animal welfare regulations have a growing impact on the industry.