African countries urged to prioritize Mechanized Agriculture for Increased Productivity
Limited use of improved technology is a major reason for low agricultural productivity across Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has said at the ongoing African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Nairobi.
“Low use of technology is partly why Africa continues to be a net importer of food ,” Chiji Ojukwu, the AfDB Director for Agriculture and Agro-Industry stated Tuesday, adding that over 60 percent of the continent’s land has irrigation potential, yet only five percent of it is under irrigation.
Speaking at a session on “Agriculture Infrastructure, Technology and Mechanization,” Ojukwu said it was impossible for Africa to be competitive while its farmers were still spending too much time tilling acres of land manually. “We cannot feed Africa with this kind of agriculture. We must mechanize. Mechanization of agriculture is imperative. Let us do what we can to push this agenda,” he stressed.
Statistics from the AfDB indicate that African farmers have 10 times fewer mechanized implements per farm area than farmers in other developing regions and access has not grown as quickly as in other regions.
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