African gov’ts asked to invest directly in Agriculture

Though agricultural transformation has been identified as one of Africa’s most pressing priorities, not much has been done to achieve success. At a forum in Accra, speakers urged African governments to make direct investment in the sector and also encourage digitalisation as it could be a game-changer to drive sustainable food systems in Africa. The Africa Green Revolution conference is an initiative of the late UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan. Over 2,300 delegates including heads of states and ministers from 79 countries across Africa are attending the four- day conference aimed at using technology and innovative partnerships in unlocking the full potential of the continent’s agribusiness ventures. Minister for food and agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said Africa has the opportunity to leapfrog in the sector. He said in Ghana, government’s flagship programme, ”planting for food and jobs would be a turning-point for the country’s agricultural sector to create jobs, ensure food security and increase farmers’ income levels”. He assured Ghanaians of a bumper harvest this year. President of the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa, convenor of the conference, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, said if Africa is able to fix the agricultural sector, the continent would be better place to be. ”It would create an opportunity for discussions to ensure that the continent leveraged on technology and digitilisation, including the use of mobile phones, drones and satellite imagery to resolve infrastructure challenges in the agricultural sector in Africa”. Other speakers stressed the need for challenges in the agricultural sector such as data issues, gender disparity supportive policies for small holder farmers to be addressed.

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By Evelyn Tengmaa||Ghana]]>