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Innovative technologies need to reach African farmers for agricultural transformation to happen

21-May-2018

For Africa to witness true agricultural transformation, technologies need to reach farmers to enhance productivity. This was part of the outcomes of the Leadership4Agriculture Forum held at the 53rd Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank taking place in Busan, Korea from May 21-25.

Participants included Ministers and key partners involved in the development of agriculture industrialization infrastructure for the continent.

Speaking at the session, the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, said the transformation of the agriculture sector into a US $1-trillion sector remains a key priority of the Bank.

“The leadership of agriculture is crucial. We cannot say we have leadership when we still have 65 percent of the land in Africa uncultivated. We must develop solutions to agriculture and ensure that the sector can grow,” he said.

The Leadership4Agriculture Forum emphasized the need to enhance the competitiveness of Africa’s agriculture sector and to develop industrial chains required to power the growth of the sector to a world-class industry.

Mima Nedelcovych, President and Chief Executive, Initiative for Global Development, said the African agriculture sector required efforts to improve its competitiveness and called for reforms to ensure that low interest rate lending the agriculture sector.

The right agriculture-sector policies, he said, would impact on the processing of raw materials from the agriculture sector.

We also need to ensure that agricultural extension services are linked to researchers to increase productivity, Nedelcovych said.

The Bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke, and the Africa Director of the Rockefeller Foundation, Mamadou Biteye, announced the signing of an agreement to establish a permanent secretariat to coordinate groups, organizations and government agencies involved in improving agriculture in Africa.

“We have to take action as well as talk. Talk is important, but we also want to take people to task,” Blanke said.

 

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