A report conducted by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Senegal and the Sahel region, has been launched in Accra ahead of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2019, scheduled from 2nd to 6th September, 2019 at Accra International Conference Centre (AICC).
Speaking at the official media launch of the 2019 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) and the Digitisation of African Agriculture Report for 2018-2019, on 2nd September September, 2019, Mr. Michael Hailu, the Director of Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA), disclosed that, about 33 million farmers in Africa had registered with various organisations to access agricultural services including financial, market access solutions and satellite imagery management.
Majority of the farmers he said, registered for extension advisory services, however, the number is subject to increase to about 200 million by the year 2030.
Meanwhile, the 2018-2019 report on digitalisation of African agriculture has indicated that, Africa generates US$127 million with the use of digitisation services for agriculture activities. This amount according to the report will increase to US$2.3 billion in the next decade.
The event is aimed to see Africa’s progress in agriculture development
in the past decade, to also deliberate on policies and programmes that will ensure that the right investments and technological strategies are put in place to leverage on for Africa’s agricultural transformation.
The event which is dubbed: ”Grow Digital: Leveraging Digital Transformation to Drive Sustainable Food Systems”, is being hosted by the government of Ghana together with the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
The event is expecting to see 2,300 delegates in Africa and across the globe, and they include Heads of State, Central Bank Governors and captains of industry, development partners, farmer organisations, agripreneurs and to name a few.
The AGRF in Ghana, became necessary on the backdrop of revolutionising African Agriculture by the late former United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, who was also the Founding Chairman of the AGRF, and the event also coincides with the one-year anniversary of his demise.
According to Mr. Hailu, about 50 per cent of African farmers in few years to come, would be using artificial intelligence, drones and digital data to enhance agriculture activities to improve productivity and incomes.
He however, underscored the need to scale up efforts by collaborating with all stakeholders in the sector to create opportunities for all, and also charged governments to make agriculture gender inclusive where women could also use technology in farming.
On her part, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, the President of Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), convenor of the forum, noted that, the event will create an avenue for discussions to aid the Continent to leveraged on technology digitisation, including the use of mobile phones, drones and satellite imagery to resolve infrastructure challenges in the agricultural sector on the continent.
She also indicated that, it will chart new ways curtail the challenges posed by climate change and as well as how African could take advantage of the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement for economic development.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, disclosed government’s commitment to recognize technology as a tool to drive agriculture transformation in the sector and as well as continue to encourage the use of various digital solutions in the sector.
Speaking on the objectives of the forum, he said, there would be a showcase of Africa’s agricultural transformation efforts aimed to ensure that it falls inline with the Malabo Declaration and court political support from African governments and development partners for economic transformation.