The Executive Director, African Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF), Dr Canisius Kanangire has canvassed the need for consistent and conducive agricultural policy to transform the food systems in Nigeria and the African continent.
According to him, the continent still has policies that are not conducive to the transformation needed in the agricultural sector. He pointed out that though commitments were made by heads of states on the need to transform agriculture into an economically sound sector when it comes down to having those policies and strategies to implement the commitments, they start having very slow motion and at the same time pulling in different directions.
While speaking at a media interaction in Abuja, the AATF ED said: “So I think that policies and regulatory frameworks have been quite slow in ensuring that we have the enabling environment that we need.
He pointed out that the rate of adoption of biotechnology products is still very slow in Africa because of a lack of political will by policymakers, saying the rate of penetration is still very low, due to policies and regulations, including the registration of the seed varieties, which are very tedious. “And very slow processes, which are not only because of the technical part of them but because of the advocacy that is required and also because of the lack of the required political push.
Kanangire called for the need for African countries to have a scorecard every two years on the progress made in the sector and should accelerate and adopt the changes that are needed to really revolutionise the agriculture.
Speaking on the newly launched country strategy for 2023-2027, he said the focus is to ensure that they continue to work to provide technological solutions, which will address the many challenges faced by farmers.
He said seed varieties have been developed to address the issue of drought, noting that technologies will also be brought, which will be translated into seeds to address the issue of the stem borer, which can devastate cowpea plantation, including technology to address weed that frustrate the farmers.
Joke Falaju and Adewale Fehintola | The Guardian