Agriculture: A Major Solution for Africa’s Challenges

Agriculture is seen as the potential savior for the African continent due to its vast arable lands, natural resources, and untapped opportunities. The recent Africa Climate Summit has highlighted the importance of agriculture in addressing various challenges faced by the continent.

President William Ruto emphasized the need for African countries to work together and utilize their untapped resources in order to exploit the enormous agricultural space. He also stressed the importance of recruiting young people into the sector and taking advantage of favorable weather conditions to achieve food stability.

“Food is emotive. We must work with other stakeholders to think and plan to get it right. Above all let’s embrace intentional recruiting of the youth into the sector as it will boost production and project us to becoming net food exporters globally,” he mentioned as he revealed at the Summit that through the Government’s deliberate plan to subsidize production, at least 60 million bags of maize will be realized this year.

He added that the increased production — of more than 20 Million bags as compared to last year’s — was due to the accessibility, affordability, and availability of seeds and fertilizers. “We are now addressing the post-harvest losses that we have been suffering from.”

He noted that the Government has purchased mobile driers and is now fixing the market infrastructure where value will be added to farm produce.

Ms Samia Suluhu, President of Tanzania said Africa’s food security also lies in the continent offering financial support to farmers that is rolling out plans that enable access to affordable credit will ensure farmers produce more and in turn bring more youths into agriculture.

Tanzania President Ms Samia Suluhu

However, Mohamed Adow, Founding Director of Power Shift Africa, points out that adaptation is crucial for Africa as climate change is already affecting food production. He believes that the summit should have focused more on adaptation rather than carbon markets. Adow states, “We want to see Africa forging a path that embraces Pan-African solidarity, putting people before profit and harnessing our unique position in history as well as vast renewable energy potential.

Embracing agriculture will lead to food sovereignty and address the issue of food insecurity in the continent. However, Adow criticizes rich countries for pledging money to carbon markets instead of providing real and public funding for African renewables and adaptation efforts.

He says, “Rather than providing real and public funding into African renewables and adaptation, during the Africa Climate Summit rich countries pledged money to prop up carbon markets that have never worked neither in Africa nor elsewhere.”

In conclusion, while agriculture holds great potential for Africa’s future, it is important to prioritize adaptation efforts and address issues such as post-harvest losses. Real and public funding should be directed towards African renewables and adaptation, rather than relying on carbon markets. 

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