The application of science and technology has no doubt improved the livelihoods of Nigerian farmers. This is a case study of Nigeria Farmer’s E-wallet System, the first in Africa, which is indeed worth of emulation and implementation by other African nations.
In October 2011, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria under the leadership of the –then- minister, and present President of Africa Development Bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, introduced one of the largest agriculture transformation programs in the world.
A Striga resistant maize crop in Ghana
Your soil fertility will be affected. You will get cancer. You will die. Better still, you will lose a leg. Well, the last one is pun intended to highlight just a few one liners that you hear when the GMOs discussion ensues. On the other end of the debate are those who push GMOs as the silver bullet for agricultural production and food security in Africa.
Its even worse that overtime, the media has portrayed and centered on the bad versus the good of GMOs resulting to mostly confusing or negative perceptions among the masses. For those who may not understand the popular acronym, GMOs are genetically modified organisms (or crops in this context).
Africa must work hard to increase agriculture production to reduce poverty and promote economic growth, says Dr Chiji Ojukwu, Director of the Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department, at the African Development Bank (AfDB).
This was Dr Ojukwu’s message to participants attending the 7th Africa Agriculture Science Week in Kigali Rwanda. Through advocacy efforts and investment, Africa seeks innovative solutions to agricultural policy challenges, working to foster the political will and public support to solve these challenges. To achieve the goal of sustainable agricultural productivity, its strategy relies on strong partnerships with donor countries, multilateral institutions, private foundations, and other organizations. While strengthening existing partnerships, countries from Africa must build new partnerships with other countries from all over the world.
Dr. Atef Swelam with a raised-bed machine.
In Egypt, a desert country that gets almost all its water from the Nile, the scarcity of water has become a challenge in agriculture. Climate change is worsening the problem through rising temperature and loss of agriculture land. However a new irrigation technology may soon change that.
In collaboration with science partners from Agriculture Research Center (ARC), National Water Research Center (NWRC), and Zagazig University, Dr. Atef Swelam has developed cost-effective multi-crop raised-bed technology for small to medium farms. The machine can be used for sowing different crops and are helping farmers to cope with rotation problems, water management, diseases and the over-application of chemicals.
Biosciences, enabled through capacity building, can unleash the next generation of ideas, knowledge, businesses, and leaders in African agriculture.
Capacity building is a process of expanding and fortifying knowledge, skills, and resources for individuals and organizations in order to fully prepare them for uncertainties in the world. It emerged as an important issue during the 7th Africa Agriculture Science Week and FARA General Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda.
Sandrine Mukezinka and Ariane Kangabo are young Rwandan innovators and entrepreneurs. When they ate peanut butter for the first time at their high school, they asked the school’s headmaster: “How could we make this? We want to produce this in larger quantities, and sell it!”
The school connected them with a mentor, who helps young innovators realize their dreams. She links the students with opportunities and networks. The mentor also coaches the youth, and facilitates the projects.
En 2008, une crise alimentaire secoue le monde. Le prix des denrées alimentaires connaît des hausses spectaculaires et engendre des tensions politiques et sociales. Les “émeutes de la fin” ont été les qualificatifs des manifestations organisées de par le monde par les populations pour crier leur désespoir. Cette crise a permis de comprendre une fois de bon que l’autosuffisance alimentation des populations loin d’être un vain mot doit être une réalité concrète ! Un dicton populaire ne dit-il pas que “ventre creux n’as point d’oreille” !