Africa is credited to be the cradle of agriculture, despite this being the case the continent lags behind when it comes to Food Security.
This “Year of agriculture and Food Security” in Africa must take its relevance. Agriculture must become a true rallying point for change on the continent and beyond as we seek to achieve, in the words of Nelson Mandela, ‘an Africa where there would be work, bread, water and salt for all.
Therefore, there is need for African governments to spearhead innovations in agriculture if we are to attain Food Security in Africa. There is no doubt that meaningful agricultural innovations can and will create Food Security in Africa.
Approximately 65 percent of Africans rely on agriculture as their primary source of livelihood. And despite the wide variety of crops, animals and farm practices across the continent, Africa has the lowest levels of agricultural productivity in the world.
History tells us that nations that have succeeded in taking their people out of poverty have done it on the back of an agricultural revolution that involved systematic improvements in production, storage, processing and use. Increase in agricultural productivity, has, from the time of the European industrial revolution contributed immensely to fast tracking the structural transformation of economies.
The effect of the agricultural revolution on the economies of Brazil, India, and China give an illustration of how the surplus from increased agricultural productivity can fuel industrial growth.
The majority of African farmers have not benefited from initiatives and programs aimed at improving farming techniques, better farm equipment, seeds, fertilizer, post-harvest technology, agricultural financing and so on. Why has minimal level of success been attained so far?