Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, the Executive -Director, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Ghana has hinted that the use of crude implements such as cutlasses, hoes among others is the major reason why importation of food and other agricultural products are increasing in Africa and Nigeria in particular.
Akinbamijo made this disclosure recently while delivering a paper, entitled, “New trends in agricultural research for development”, at the closing ceremony of the Institute of Agricultural Research & Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, 50th anniversary, held at the institute hall.
The event also had in attendance: Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, a former Governor of Ekiti state, Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, ex-staff of the institute and farmers among others.
Speaking further, Akinbamijo noted that it was unfortunate that after Nigeria signed various declaration such as the Malapo, Maputo declarations, the country and most African countries are still exporting food farther than what they are exporting.
He stressed the need for Africa to engage more in mechanized agriculture to improve food production in the continent, urging IAR&T to ensure that farmers benefitted from its various research and experiments.
Akinbamijo, while emphasizing the need for the continent to shift into more organized market to create good incentives for producers as well as farmers, however insisted that food production in Africa cannot increase if proper care is not taken to engage in mechanised farming.
“Africans need to harness the potentials of 4th Industrial Revolution technologies based on strong innovation ecosystem that include skills, infrastructure, regulations and policies”.
Akinbamijo underscored the need for new partnerships, funding mechanisms as well as frameworks for financing Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) in Africa.
“It is not rocket science that we are eating chicken from Netherland. I feel it is a pathetic situation here. I recalled in 2003 this country hosted three conferences on agriculture and food but up till today, the country is still struggling to bridge the gap.
“We need new approaches to move forward, if we continue business as usual, no country will meet the Malabo declaration of doubling agricultural productivity by 2025.
“So, righting this wrong is a task before IAR&T and other research institutes. FARA is the apex agricultural body in Africa. In 2003, Heads of States/ Governments made a declaration that should keep Africa. So, Africa missed out from Maputo in 2003, and quickly what we did, we ran to Malabo in 2014”, FARA Boss added.
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