AGRA acts to improve small-holder farmer income in Africa

AGRAThe Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has upped its efforts at strengthening the incomes of about nine million small-holder farmers across six nations in the continent, within the next five years.

They include Ghana, Mali, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria and Mozambique.

Dr. Fadel Ndiame, the Alliance Head for West Africa, said it was focusing on a new integrated strategy, which involved working to influence greater political commitment for significant transformation of agriculture, encourage sustained private-public partnerships investment, capacity building and development of new technologies.

Added to these, he said, was the promotion of access and utilization of new technologies by farmers.

He was speaking at a joint partners’ meeting of the Improved Master of Science (MSc) in Cultivar Development for Africa (IMCDA), being implemented by three universities – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa and Makerere University of Uganda.

The IMCDA project, funded by AGRA and its partners, is aimed at developing and implementing new training approach for plant breeders, for the private and public sector seed systems to improve the genetic gains in varieties adopted by farmers.

The meeting was to review, learn and improve on the programme – report on progress of implementation, develop professional learning communities and e-curricula for the programme.

So far, 55 students have been trained in plant breeding at the MSc and doctorate levels by the three universities, since its start, two years ago.

Dr. Ndiame pointed out that access to new technologies, high yielding inputs and marketing, alongside credit facilities, were crucial to increased incomes and improvement of the living conditions of the small-holder farmer.

He said in the next five years, the Alliance would ensure that the various strategies implemented were integrated to raise output.

He indicated that agricultural transformation in Africa could be achieved through integrated approach driven by access to technology, finance, inputs and markets.

Dr. Rufaro Madakadze, AGRA Capacity Building Specialist, said the IMCDA programme was to build the capacity of Africa countries to fast-track breeding of variety of crops, taking into consideration, new challenges including climate change, emerging diseases and pests.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.