The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has been urged to spearhead advocacy for increased mechanization in all agriculture value chains. New and improved technologies in all sectors and areas of agricultural production will not only increase agricultural production and productivity, it will also attract and retain youth in this vital sector of most African economies.
This call was made by the 29th Africa Regional Conference held in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire at the beginning of April.
The Conference expressed concern over the tendency for Africa's youth to leave the country-side and agriculture to older people; while they went in search of elusive green pastures. Delegates concurred on the need to make agriculture more attractive by reducing the drudgery imposed by archaic agricultural technologies, and embraced the principle of introducing modern technologies in all agricultural value chains.
The five-day Conference of African agricultural policy makers, technocrats, consultants, implementer and non-state actors, asked FAO to enhance its support to countries in the important areas of the development of agri-food systems, sustainable natural resource management and in gaining market access for African agricultural products.
Tackling the issue of climate change and its impacts on African agriculture, delegates called on FAO to assist the Continent in mobilizing financial resources from the Green Climate Fund, in partnership with Regional Development Banks. Accruing monies from this Fund could be used in existing FAO facilities and programmes as channels for technical support and capacity development.