KIGALI, (Xinhua) --
Low levels of agricultural innovation in Africa
have been blamed for derailing agricultural transformation that
led to severe food crisis.
attending a regional forum on agriculture held in Rwanda’s
capital Kigali made the observation on Tuesday.
meeting organized by Food Agriculture Organization (FAO)
discusses how the principles for sustainable food and
agriculture can strengthen the contribution of agriculture,
forestry and fisheries to sustainable development.
“One of the most
common causes of food insecurity in Africa today is limited
agricultural innovations in farming technology. There is lack of
innovations in agriculture mobile communication, post-harvest
loss reduction and other risk-reducing incentives which have led
to poor crop yields in various regions on the continent,” said
Clayton Campanhola who leads FAO’s strategic program on
He called on African
governments to fund and support agricultural innovations,
especially farming technologies for small holder farmers.
Experts at the
conference argued that farmers are facing changes in weather
patterns which have spurred them into shifting their farming
methods, hence innovations would provide a great deal for
positive agricultural yields.
Mbaye Ndiaye, an
agricultural plant scientist from Niger, said that innovations
in agriculture that provides farmers with up-to-date weather
forecasting would enable them know when to plant and harvest on
time to avoid crop losses.
in agriculture is one of the major actions needed in boosting
productivity, creating employment and improving food security in
Africa,” he added.
They pointed out
that weak regulatory structures for biotechnology and limited
efforts to strengthen science-based, cost-effective regulatory
systems have also hampered increased agriculture production on
According to the FAO,
Africa has been experiencing several episodes of acute food
insecurity, which caused an immense loss of life and livelihoods
over the past decades.
The latest FAO
figures indicate that Africa has 16 countries where the
undernourishment prevalence rate is over 35 percent.
At the meeting,
participants concurred that agricultural scientists need to
establish stronger linkages and share ideas and expertise.
The conference has
brought together about 40 delegates including senior government
officials from agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors from
across Africa and beyond.