Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente has urged
African Governments to ensure farmers' timely access to improved seeds and
fertilizers, and make the agriculture attractive to the young people as key
priorities to focus on, for the development of the sector.
Ngirenge was this Tuesday speaking at launching ceremony of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), the world’s premier forum for advancing Africa’s agricultural agenda, in Kigali.
Rwanda was selected as the host of AGRF 2020 and serve as the long-term home country of the Forum going forward.
Ahead of the summit, the Prime Minister urged stakeholders to ensure farmers timely access to agriculture inputs as well as revolutionalise the sector that is vastly dominated by the aging population.
“The agriculture sector in Africa, is mostly dominated by an aging population. This is aggravated by the fact that for the youth, agriculture sector is not attractive as a business. To attract them into agriculture, there is need to de-risk this sector so as to attract investments and continue empowering youth and other farmers to use technologies that make agriculture a competitive and profitable business,” Ngirente argued the participants as he officially opened the meeting.
“Furthermore, African Governments have to ensure farmers timely access to agriculture inputs, especially improved seeds and fertilizers,” he added.
He highlighted the importance of African countries putting emphasis on extension services as the avenue to speed up agricultural transformation on our continent.
“Our African countries need to keep putting emphasis on extension services. This should be done using appropriate approaches such as deployment of skilled extension personnel in farming areas to work with farmers, using farmer to farmer extension services, youth service providers.
“This linkage between research, extension, and farmers will speed up agricultural transformation on our continent,” Ngirente noted.
Between September, 8 to 11, 2020, the Government of Rwanda in partnership the AGRF Partners Group will co-host the AGRF Summit. The Summit is designed to energize political will and advance the policies, programs and investments required to achieve an inclusive agriculture transformation across the continent
PM Ngirente noted that the Rwanda bid to host African Green Revolution Forum because the country wants to champion a comprehensive agricultural transformation in Africa.
“Rwanda bid to host AGRF because we recognize how essential agricultural sector is, to wider continental development. Therefore, we wanted to be a key part of this movement and become one of the key players in advancing Africa agricultural sector agenda,” Premier told participants.
He added; “The Government of Rwanda is fully committed to driving a comprehensive agricultural transformation at the heart of our economic transformation. This is emphasized in our Strategic Plan for Agriculture Transformation (PSTA4) which was launched last year,”
He noted that, as Rwanda continues on the path to making agriculture continues a key foundation of our economic growth the African Green Revolution Forum offers an opportunity to learn from others working across the continent to align the agricultural transformation with the continental development agenda, especially the African Continental Free Trade Area, and other wider commitments.
On his part, Hailemariam Desalegn, AGRF Partners Group Chair and former Prime Minister of Ethiopia said that; “In order to achieve our aspirations laid out in the SDGs and the Africa’s Agenda 2063, we must ensure we drive agriculture transformation at the heart of our economic transformation.
“Business and progress as usual is not enough for Africa’s aspirations. Without a change of approach and change of pace, Africa stands to be the only continent struggling with hunger in 2030,” he added.
In September this year, Rwanda was announced as the long-term home for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF). This move adds Rwanda to the AGRF Partners Group to help shape and drive the AGRF’s long-term vision, deepen relationships with service providers to streamline organizational logistics and unlock partnerships with several new institutions looking to grow with the forum.