Africa Urged to Embrace New Tech to Increase Ag Production
The Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources has said that, Africa should embrace technology and innovations to boost agro-production and, hence save the billions of dollars the continent spends on food imports.
Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana said use of advanced technology helps increase crop yields across the continent, a development that would help reduce imported foodstuff. Citing maize, the minister said the crop’s yield can increase by half if farmers planted hybrid maize seeds compared to using ordinary maize seeds.
Mukeshimana was briefing about the African Union commitments on agriculture transformation and growth that are geared at expediting the transformation of the sector in Kigali.
According to experts, Africa spends an average of $35 billion on food imports, which is projected to rise to $110 billion by 2025, if the current trend continues.
The minister said countries on the continent import foodstuff from as far as Europe and America. She urged African governments to embrace intra-African trade under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). The CFTA deal was signed yesterday in Kigali by Heads of State and Government from across the continent during an extraordinary African Union Summit.
She added, however, that it is important to put in place enabling conditions to make the deal become a success.
Rwanda exports agricultural produce to DR Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Mali, Zambia, Europe and America, as well as to Southern and Western Africa regions. It earned Rwf255 billion in revenue from agro-exports as at the end of September 2017.