Technology Can Boost Agric In Africa – Bagbin

Alban Bagbin (2nd L) with other dignitaries at the event


The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has called on African governments to focus on innovation and technology in farming if Africa is to attain its potential as the food basket of the world.

He was speaking at the Convention and 30th anniversary of the Council of Ewe Associations of North America (CEANA) in Atlanta, Georgia under the theme, “Empowering our youth towards innovative entrepreneurship in transformational agriculture”.

The Speaker said technologies such as GPS, sensors, drones, and data analytics must be deployed in agriculture to optimize resource use, monitor crop health and improve yields.

It will also enable the youth in agriculture to make informed decisions based on reliable data, reduce waste and increase efficiency.

He insisted that today’s youth are technologically savvy, making the crude approach to farming a turn-off for them.

Innovation in agriculture, he said, should target waste reduction and a re-think through the perennial glut of farm produce, the horribly low prices during the glut, how farm produce are left to rot, only to be followed by a season of scarcity. That, he said, should inform the approach to managing post-harvest losses and supporting agro-businesses to mitigate such losses.

Mr. Bagbin suggested that marketing of farm produce could also do with innovation as it can support local economies in Africa, reduce food miles, and enhance effectiveness of the food supply chain. Moreover, the youth farmers will generate more returns on their investment and re-invest in their farms.

To attract the youth into agriculture, he called for policies to promote secure land tenure and access for the youth. He mentioned land redistribution, leasing programmes, and support for communal land ownership as some necessary initiatives, as well as a deliberate effort to involve women, indigenous communities and the rural youth in agriculture.

He asked financial institutions in Africa to provide access to financing for young farmers, offer low-interest loans, grants, and subsidies to help the youth to invest in equipment and seeds among others. He explained that empowering the youth in agriculture requires a holistic approach that addresses modernization of agriculture, education, access to resources, policy support and cultural attitudes.

The Speaker, also known as Torgbui Nuterperwola Awudome I, congratulated CEANA, which groups Ewes from Ghana, Togo and Niger in North America, on its 30th anniversary.

He said the resilience, perseverance and hard work that have sustained the association over the past three decades cannot be taken for granted.