Africa for mechanised agriculture

Lilongwe, African countries should invest more in new technologies of agriculture for increased productivity, improved nutrition and food security which are key to sustaining the continent’s good economic performance, Malawi’s senior government official has said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano said this on Tuesday at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe. He was speaking during the second MALABO Montpellier Panel, which is a forum of African experts in agriculture.

The gathering is reviewing the progress made by African countries in efforts to optimise the agriculture sector.

Dr Emmanuel Fabiano, who co-chaired the event with Benin’s Minister of Agriculture Cossi Gaston Dossouhoui, underscored the importance of improved nutrition saying it is the cornerstone of stabilising the progress African economies are making.

A well-nourished and healthy population means a thriving economy, poverty reduction, and improved well-being and livelihoods.

We must seek opportunities to improve all segments of the value chain, especially in the processing sector to add value to crops and produce, Fabiano said.

The Malawi minister decried the high levels of food loss Sub-Saharan Africa is incurring during post-harvest and processing period, saying the unacceptable amount of food losses could be reversed through mechanised agriculture.

It is critical that African Governments, in collaboration with other stakeholders, should step up and harness the opportunities that mechanised agriculture has to offer.

Benin’s Dossouhoui said Africa needs to step up efforts to modernise agriculture, reap maximum benefits from the sector and build a future free from hunger and malnutrition.

During the meeting, the panel also analysed a report called Mechanised-Transforming Africa’s Agriculture Value Chains, which bills mechanisation of African agriculture as a driver for creating rural employment and curbing urban migration.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA