Agricultural growth in Africa helps to reduce rural poverty. According to Professor Asenso Okyere, Director of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), who presented at the ongoing FARA Africa Agricultural Science Week (AASW6), every 1% increase in agricultural growth leads to a 1.83% reduction in rural poverty. Agricultural growth or awareness is thus vital to helping Africa advance as a continent.
Adopting of science-based technologies substantially accelerates growth in agriculture because innovation helps farmers to learn more and get the most out of their land and crops. Science and technology also facilitates the agricultural decision-making process and improves farmers’ quality of life.
However, one of the principle factors slowing the uptake of these advancements by small farmers is lack of awarness: what is the technology, how is it acquired and where, and how is it used?
The solution requires, first, the dissemination of information on the considerable benefits of innovations and technologies that will spark farmers’ interest in introducing them on their farms. The second requirement is financial incentive and assistance, otherwise the often high start-up costs of adopting these technologies could deter many farmers.
A final thought is that experienced farmers should not be neglected in the promotion of technology. Rather, they should be called upon to share their considerable experience for the benefit of new and upcoming farmers.
Blogpost by Jonathan Onogwu, a social media reporter for AASW6.
Photo: N. Cooke