Agri-innovations strategic in Africa’s industrial progress

23rd April 2014. Agri-innovations strategic in Africa’s industrial progress. Professor Juma who directs the Agricultural Innovation in Africa’ project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said the main issue is that so far agriculture has been viewed as a sector rather that a foundation for overall economic transformation.

“The state of agricultural innovation in Africa is in its nascent stage. The good news is rise of interest among African presidents in transformation agriculture. While there are some activists, who are opposing agricultural innovation such as application of biotechnology to address challenges of diseases and droughts, Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete has emerged as an internationally-recognized champion of agricultural innovation. Because of his leadership leading international investors have committed nearly US dollars 3.5 billion for investment in African agriculture.

This ‘Grow Africa’ initiative was inspired through the World Economic Forum and enjoys the support of the African Union. This is the kind of leadership and support that Africa has previously lacked, said Prof, Juma.

He said that Tanzania has access to a wider range of technologies that it can leverage to address food security and agricultural innovation in generation.

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