Africa has to transform its agricultural sector by strong linkages for it to be food sufficient, an AU official has said.
The African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Mrs Rhoda Tumusiime, said the focus on value chain development would lead the continent to food security.
Speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Tuesday as she unveiled Africa’s vision for agriculture for the next 50 years, Mrs Tumusiime said to bring this vision closer to reality, small scale farmers must access ingredients of the transformation such as fertilisers, seeds at reasonable market prices and micro-finance.
“With this change and upgrading, the agricultural sector will be more attractive to the youth and provide employment for a population tabled to double by 2025,” she said.
According to Mrs Tumusiime, qualitative changes should also be backed by a conducive political spaces and policy support.
“Backing our commitments with commensurate actions now would ensure that Africa becomes the bread basket of the world,” she said.
According to a statement by the AU, the centrepiece of this change would be the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) by which African governments agreed to dedicate a minimum of 10 per cent of their budget to raise agricultural productivity to at least by 6 per cent. So far, 30 countries have signed.
The Commissioner emphasised that as part of ensuring opportunities for Africa’s renaissance were fully exploited, the continent would have to first make it a must to become self-reliant in food and nutrition security.
Africa is this week celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the AU under the theme Pan-Africanism and African renaissance.
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