Use Advocates Innovation and Technology in Agriculture to Unlock Continent’s Food Potential – Speaker
Rt Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament from Ghana, has issued a compelling call to action for African governments including Ghana to harness innovation and technology in agriculture to position the continent as the world’s food basket.
Speaking at the Convention and 30th anniversary of the Council of Ewe Associations of North America (CEANA) in Atlanta, Georgia, Bagbin stressed the need for a technological revolution in the agricultural sector.
Under the theme ‘Empowering our youth toward innovative entrepreneurship in transformational agriculture,’ Speaker Bagbin asserted that the integration of technologies such as GPS, sensors, drones, and data analytics is essential for optimizing resource utilization, monitoring crop health, and boosting crop yields.
This, he believes, will not only attract tech-savvy youth to agriculture but also revolutionize how food is produced, distributed, and consumed on the continent.
The speaker pointed out that the traditional, labor-intensive methods of farming are no longer attractive to today’s youth. To address this, he urged governments to allocate resources towards modernizing agriculture and infusing technological advancements into farming practices.
By doing so, he believes more young individuals will be inclined to enter the agricultural sector, a move that could help meet the global challenge of sustainable food production.
The Speaker highlighted the pressing issue of post-harvest losses and advocated for innovative solutions to tackle this problem. He emphasized the need for strategies to combat seasonal gluts, address low prices during gluts, and prevent wastage of produce.
Mr. Bagbin called for the development of agro-businesses and a reimagined approach to marketing farm produce to support local economies and enhance the efficiency of the food supply chain.
To make agriculture more appealing to the youth, Speaker Bagbin stressed the importance of secure land tenure and access. He suggested initiatives such as land redistribution, leasing programs, and support for communal land ownership as essential steps in this direction.
Additionally, he called on financial institutions in Africa to provide accessible financing options, including low-interest loans, grants, and subsidies, to empower young farmers with the necessary resources for success.
The Speaker underscored that empowering youth in agriculture requires a holistic approach that encompasses modernization, education, resource accessibility, policy support, and a change in cultural attitudes. He urged governments, communities, and financial institutions to collaborate in implementing these measures.
Bagbin also took a moment to congratulate CEANA on its remarkable 30th anniversary. He commended the association for its dedication to improving farming practices and developing Ewe communities across Ghana, Togo, and Niger in North America. He acknowledged the resilience, perseverance, and hard work that have sustained CEANA over the past three decades.
Mr. Bagbin’s passionate call for agricultural innovation and technology integration resonates with the urgent need to transform African agriculture into a modern and sustainable sector. With the youth’s technological prowess, a concerted effort to modernize farming practices and support budding entrepreneurs could pave the way for Africa to realize its immense potential as a global food provider.