Africa would need to make a radical shift towards the use of technology to boost agricultural production and promote economic growth.
This was the consensus at the ‘leadership for agriculture forum’ held as part of the 53rd annual meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Busan, South Korea.
It was attended by Ministers and key partners involved in the development of agriculture industrialization infrastructure for the continent.
Dr. Mina Nedelcorgch, President and Chief Executive, Initiative for Global Development, said more needed to be done in Africa’s agriculture sector to improve its competitiveness.
It was important to develop industrial chains that would power its growth to a world-class industry.
There should be reforms to ensure access to low interest rate lending, she added.
Dr. Nedelcorgch noted that the right agriculture-sector policies would impact on the processing of raw materials to feed Africa.
“We also need to ensure that agricultural extension services are linked to researchers to increase productivity.”
Mrs. Lindiwe Sibanda of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) said it was visible in 11 countries including Ghana and had aligned its activities with the AfDB’s top priority goal (High 5) to leverage outcomes in the agricultural sector and value-chain.
It was additionally pursuing a farm-to-market alliance strategy to significantly reduce post-harvest losses.
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB, said transforming agriculture remained one of their major priorities.
“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.
AFDB’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 effectively coordinate the programmes of groups, organizations and government agencies working to boost agriculture in Africa.