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Friday, April 27, 2012

African agric ministers call for the use of biotechnology, ICT

Agriculture and Science and Innovation Ministers in Africa have called for the use of modern technologies like biotechnology and ICT in agricultural research, reports NewsTime.

The ministers NaijaAgroNet learnt at the ended of the second dialogue of agriculture, science and innovation ministers in Accra also call for the creation of Innovation Fund for Agricultural Transformation (IFAT) in a bid to boost extension and increase access to information and knowledge.

The Ministers in a communiqué released at the end of the meeting asserted that the creation of the funding mechanism will stimulate both public and private investments across the continent which will sustain transformation of agriculture.

Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Monty Jones said there is a need for paradigm shift that would transform African Agriculture. "The mindset that we can sustain ourselves through subsistence farming has trapped the continent in a cycle of famine and failed harvests."

Monty also said that African farmers do need improved seeds and other inputs, and timely advice on how use them, saying "Africa’s farmers do not need pity. They need support." 
NaijaAgroNet further gathered that participants at the dialogue said that African farmers need greater access to improved, resilient seeds, fertilizers, irrigation, weather insurance and other means to improve their farm production.
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