Adoption of improved agricultural technologies and innovations is key to enhancing productivity and livelihood of farmers, Dr. Canisius Kanangire, the Executive Director of Africa Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) has said.
Speaking during the 11th African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) virtual Summit 2021, Dr. Kanangire noted that many technologies and products that enhance productivity have been developed and deployed but, lamented that many others are still left on research shelves, even though evidence shows that countries that have utilised advanced agricultural innovations have met their food and nutritional security needs.
In his remarks during a panel session on Resilience and Adaptation, Dr. Kanangire stated that it is also critical to encourage creation of enduring public-private partnerships to facilitate platforms through which technology and accompanying knowledge can be transferred to farmers.
According to him, Africa could build a resilient agricultural system by establishing an enabling environment with appropriate policies, regulations, institutions, and markets to drive the adoption of innovations.
“Knowledge about such technologies is critical for technology transfer and adoption to realise agricultural transformation in Africa, but an unfavorable environment that does not support development and release of innovative technologies is a hinderance to getting technologies to farmers,” Dr. Kanangire said.
He added that to ensure optimum benefit for both human and the environment, the technologies and products need to be stewarded properly for quality assurance to support value chain actors such as seed companies, agro-dealers and the farmers.
Dr. Kanangire shared the AATF experience with the DroughtTEGO maize varieties where use of technology demonstration and knowledge dissemination led to adoption rates of 39-55 per cent and an increase in farmers’ income by 66–73 per cent in Kenya. DroughtTEGO, he said, was developed through the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Project, that aimed at enhancing resilience and adaptation to climate change.
To ensure these technologies are delivered to farmers and using digital solutions to ease access to services, Dr. Kanangire noted that AATF and its partners have developed and promoted digital applications to facilitate knowledge transfer and traceability.
“Agri-Drive App that facilitates access to agricultural mechanisation has been used to assist farmers to book and pay for mechanisation services especially during this period of COVID-19 pandemic,” he pointed out.