The African Development Bank Group has made an urgent call to give farmers across the continent new technologies with the potential to transform agricultural production.
Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President, made the call during a keynote speech delivered at the 2018 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C., last weekend.
Adesina said the technology transfer was needed immediately and that evidence from countries like Nigeria demonstrated that technology plus strong government backing was already yielding positive results.
“Technologies to achieve Africa’s green revolution exist but are mostly just sitting on the shelves. The challenge is a lack of supportive policies to ensure that they are scaled up to reach millions of farmers.”
The African Development Bank said it is currently working with the World Bank, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to mobilize $ 1 billion to scale up agricultural technologies across Africa under a new initiative called Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT).
TAAT is taking bold steps to bring down some of the barriers preventing farmers from accessing the latest seed varieties and technologies to improve their productivity.
Adesina said with the pace of growth in the use of drones, automated tractors, artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchains, agriculture will change.
“It is more likely that the future farmers will be sitting in their homes with computer applications using drones to determine the size of their farms, monitor and guide the applications of farm inputs, and with a driverless combine, harvesters bringing in the harvest.”