Experts Urge Adoption of Innovative Farming Tech for Food Security

experts urge adoption of innovative farming tech for food security
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In the face of looming food insecurity across 22 African nations, experts stress the crucial need for embracing cutting-edge agricultural technologies to bolster food production and combat climate change effects.

The World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have sounded the alarm about acute food insecurity, particularly in countries like Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Kenya, as per the WFP/FAO hunger status report covering June to December 2023. This concerning situation arises from factors such as rain-dependent agriculture, traditional farming methods still predominant in many African communities, and diminishing arable land.

The Call for Technological Innovation

Dr. Canisius Kanangire, the Executive Director of the African Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF), underscores the pressing need for innovation in agriculture to address these challenges effectively. In his view, farmers must adapt to growing more food on less land, combat pests, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and maximize their profit margins from agricultural produce. Innovative technologies offer promising solutions to revolutionize the continent’s food systems.

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Key Technological Solutions

Kanangire emphasizes the importance of technologies such as drought-tolerant seeds, pest-resistant crops (e.g., maize resistant to stem borers and armyworms), and soil fertility restoration techniques. These innovations can play a pivotal role in increasing agricultural productivity and resilience. However, he stresses the importance of packaging these technologies in a way that makes them accessible and practical for farmers to adopt and integrate into their food production systems.

Challenges in Technology Adoption

While science, technology, and innovation (STI) have evolved rapidly, Kanangire acknowledges that policy support for deploying these proven agricultural products has not kept pace. He calls for collective action within the agriculture sector to leverage the potential of science and technology, thus catalyzing a transformative change in Africa’s agriculture. The urgency of the matter stems from the continent’s ongoing struggle to provide food security for its growing population.

The African Conference on Agriculture Technologies

Dr. Kanangire delivered these critical remarks during the opening of the African Conference on Agriculture Technologies in Nairobi, Kenya. This conference, themed “Agricultural Resilience through Innovation,” is organized by the African Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF) in collaboration with partners.

Distinguished figures, including former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, have gathered to address the vital role of innovative technology in fortifying Africa’s agriculture sector against the challenges posed by climate change and food security.

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