African states have been urged to support innovative approaches designed to boost agribusiness on the continent.
The experts made the call during the recently concluded global African Investment Summit in Kigali
Dr. George Chaponda, Malawi’s Minister for agriculture, irrigation and water development said investing in innovative technologies is critical for the sustainability of agriculture on the continent.
According to Chaponda, most sub-Saharan economies are yet to implement the Maputo declaration despite pledging to support agriculture by allocating over 10 per cent of their budget to the sector.
Chaponda was addressing the first African Global Investment Summit Kigali on Monday.
He further challenged the private sector to take the leading role and invest in the sector to increase its production capacity.
“Initiatives like large-scale irrigation schemes could be complemented by knowledge-based knowhow to transform the sector into a commercial enterprise for all stake holders,” Chaponda said.
According to Mark Simmonds, an expert based in UK, supporting the sector will translate into more exports, jobs and increased household incomes.
This, according Simmonds, will help accelerate the continent’s economic growth.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda, Geraldine Mukeshimana, said embracing modern technological models must be taken as top priority by all stake holders.
Felicien Mutarikanwa, the Chief Executive Officer of Bramin, said the governments must move in and have farm inputs like fertilizers subsidized to reduce the cost of production.
Rwanda has been ensuring that over 10 per cent of the national budget goes to agriculture to stimulate growth in the sector, create more jobs, as well as boost exports and increase farmers’ household incomes. The government and its stakeholders target to push the sector’s growth to at least 8.5 per cent by 2018 from the current 7 percent.
Government is also counting on programmes like Twigere muhizi, Girinka, crop intensification, as well as training farmers in proper agronomic practices and post-harvest handling and storage to increase the sector’s capacity and make it more productive.