NAIROBI, Feb. 24 — The African Union on Monday urged the continent’s governments to embrace the use of science in order to transform its agricultural sector.
Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture Rhoda Peace Tumusiime told an agricultural forum in Nairobi that all known advances in humanity are based on appropriate investment in science and technology.
“The African continent should therefore prioritize the role of science in order to improve its agricultural productivity,” Tumusiime said during the high level planning meeting on scaling agricultural Innovations in Africa.
She said the uptake of modern farming techniques will ensure that smallholder farmers, particularly women and the youth, are not left behind in the drive towards the Africa green revolution.
The AU member states declared 2014 the year of agriculture, food and nutrition and committed to end hunger in the Africa by 2025.
Tumusiime added that the AU and the continent’s regional economic blocs are presently holding consultations in order to identify the role of all stakeholders in the fight against hunger.
She said it has been demonstrated over and over again even in the history of ancient civilizations, that technology is the driver of positive economic transformation.
The AU official added that investments in agricultural technology must address identified problems that are limiting the productivity of the sector.
She also urged the continent to ensure that the level of agricultural investments is sufficient to orchestrate agricultural transformations.
“However, they should be driven by the demands of the agricultural producers in order to avoid wastage of resources,” she said.
Tumusiime said the recent upsurge in the use of mobile technology in agriculture to share market information is a step in the right direction, adding partnerships with the private sector are vital when investing in technological change.
“It will help to ensure that public investments and interventions translate to true impact and development,” she said.