Ibadan – Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, the executive director of Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), at the weekend in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, disclosed that the use of crude implements such as cutlasses, hoes among others was the major reason why importation of food and other agricultural products are increasing in Africa and Nigeria in particular.
Akinbamijo said while delivering a paper entitled, “New trends in agricultural research for development”, at the closing ceremony of the Institute of Agricultural Research & Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, 50th anniversary, held at the institute hall.
At the event were the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, a former Governor of Ekiti State, Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, ex-staff of the institute and farmers, among others.
Akinbamijo said it was unfortunate that after Nigeria signed various declarations such as the Malapo, Maputo, the country like most African countries, was still importing food.
He underscored the need for Africa to engage e in mechanized agriculture to improve food production on the continent, as he urged IAR&T to ensure that farmers benefitted from its research and experiments.
Akinbamijo, while stressing the need for the continent to shift into organized market to create incentives for producers as well as farmers, however, insisted that food production in Africa cannot increase if care was not taken to engage in mechanised farming.
According to him, Africans need to harness the potential of fourth Industrial Revolution technologies based on innovation that include skills, infrastructure, regulations and policies.
He underscored the need for partnerships, funding mechanisms as well as frameworks for financing Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) in Africa.
“It is not rocket science that we are eating chicken from Netherland. I feel it is a pathetic situation here. I recall in 2003 this country hosted three conferences on agriculture and food but up till today, the country is still struggling to bridge the gap.
“We need new approaches to move forward, if we continue business as usual, no country will meet the Malabo declaration of doubling agricultural productivity by 2025.
“So, righting this wrong is a task before IAR&T and other research institutes. FARA is the apex agricultural body in Africa. In 2003, Heads of States/ Governments made a declaration that should keep Africa. So, Africa missed out from Maputo in 2003, and quickly what we did, we ran to Malabo in 2014.
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