To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

April 15, 2008

Poor uptake of innovations is cause of Africa's low agricultural productivity

Use of inappropriate technology and mismanagement of agricultural systems is to blame for the slow rate of Africa’s growth in productivity, experts said.

An international food policy conference held in Addis Ababa heard that a large fraction of farming in Africa is still dependent on traditional modes of production. Attempts to upgrade technology suffer serious management setbacks.

The conference organised by International Food Policy Research Institute aims to advance agriculture in developing countries through knowledge and innovation.

More than 70 per cent of the world’s poor live in rural areas with agriculture as the main economic activity. Economists believe that the best way of lifting these people out of poverty is to link them to markets.

This approach, they said, would formally engage all segments of the farming community in gainful economic activity, opening for them a window to escape poverty.

India, with the support of the World Bank, has intensified this programme with an extension model. The programme encourages small-scale farmers to pursue high-value crops, livestock and other enterprises which make their farming systems more market-oriented.

Tesfaye Lemma, an Ethiopian agronomist, said that sustainable and market-oriented, smallholder dairy development in Ethiopia have proved to be the most promising option. This is because the system not only to boosts rural incomes, but also improves nutritional security of the producers who are usually low income earners. He however regretted that despite decades of interventions, the sector remains subsistence-oriented, used by farmers to produce food for domestic consumption only. The country is yet to catch-up with other sub-Saharan African countries in per capita milk production and consumption.

The Addis Ababa consultative meeting also provided a forum for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners from different sectors to discuss issues in related to agricultural knowledge and innovation.

Business Daily Africa

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings expo exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture hydroponics ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maiz maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by

Back to TOP