DAKAR, Senegal, Jan 25 – President William Ruto has challenged his fellow African leaders to take the discourse on agriculture beyond production to value addition and manufacturing.
He said Africa has the potential to produce surplus food for export noting that this can generate more income and create jobs, especially for the youth.
Speaking during the Dakar 2 Summit – Feed Africa in Senegal on Wednesday, President Ruto said these are the initiatives that will transform Africa.
“We should not be discussing food 60 years after independence.“
In panel discussion of 10 Heads of State and Governments, President Ruto said the upscaling of agriculture in the continent would require the right input, technology, enhanced irrigation and mechanisation.
“Young people are also critical in the revival of our agricultural. Crucially, the greater the infusion of technology, the better the returns.”
He warned against depedence on rain-fed agriculture saying many countries in Africa experience hunger due to this.
Irrigation, the President explained, will assure Africa of enough food for consumption and export.
“There is no magic to enhanced agricultural production; more fertiliser use translates to more production.”
President Samia Suluhu told the Summit that Tanzania has committed resources to help the youth acquire agricultural land and support them to pursue agribusiness.
On his part, the African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina called on Africa to utilise its huge arable land to feed itself.
“What Africa does with agriculture today will determine the future of food security in the world,” he noted.
He said AfDB will invest Sh1.2 Trillion in the next five years to support food production in Africa.
“Africa must feed itself,” he said.