Tanzanian VP urges Africa to use scientific knowledge to produce enough food

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© UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran – World Food Programme (WFP) staff members load bags of split yellow peas onto a truck in a WFP warehouse based in El Fasher, North Darfur, Sudan.
© UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran – World Food Programme (WFP)

Tanzanian Vice President Philip Mpango on Tuesday urged African countries to harness the existing scientific knowledge to produce and process enough food for its people and for the global markets.

Opening the 13th annual Africa Food Systems Forum in Dar es Salaam, Mpango appealed to African governments to take requisite measures to provide small-scale farmers with affordable inputs, knowledge, skills and finance to enhance productivity along food value chains.

“We also need to scale up digitalization and financing of scientific research,” he told the four-day forum themed: “Recover, Regenerate, Act: Africa’s Solutions to Food Systems Transformation.”

Mpango called for the need to appreciate the youth and women because they were central to Africa’s food systems by harnessing their growing numbers and ensuring they benefit from their sweat and innovativeness.

“In particular, we should endeavor to make agriculture enticing to the younger generation through the use of modern technology, easy access to land, start-up capital and markets targeting activities like horticulture which pay off relatively quickly,” he said.

He said with multiple global crises of biodiversity loss, climate change and desertification, and the COVID-19 pandemic, the right to food has been denied to about a quarter of Africa’s population.

The forum has brought together over 4,000 delegates, leaders, and innovators from across the globe to discuss policy, breakthroughs and innovations in agriculture and food systems transformation.

Key highlights of the forum include thematic plenary sessions with expert speakers, a ministerial roundtable involving over 40 ministers, and a high-level session where heads of state will make commitments to advance Africa’s food systems transformation.

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