Dr Issoufou Abdourhamane, the Regional Director of African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), has called on African countries to embrace technologies capable of solving the food crisis confronting the continent.
Abdourhamane said that the numerous challenges facing Africa’s agricultural sector could be effectively tackled with the deployment of appropriate technologies.
He spoke at the fourth edition of the South-West Agro-ecological Biosafety Awareness workshop, hosted by the Ife Biotechnological Group, at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), in Ile-Ife.
According to him, with the deployment of appropriate technologies, creation of conducive environment and translation of political will into action, Africa will be able to feed its people and overcome its challenges.
He said that the food and nutritional challenges facing the continent included threats by contaminants such as aflatoxins, chemical contaminants, microbiological hazards, adulteration and pesticide residues.
Abdourhamane said that AATF was established to transform livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa through innovative agricultural technologies.
He said that AATF, since its establishment, had carried out some laudable programmes in Nigeria.
These, the regional director said, included cassava mechanisation and processing programme which had helped farmers improve production in the last few years.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, the Vice-Chancellor of OAU, said that the workshop was timely, as government was articulating strategies to diversify the economy.
Ogunbodede said that government was also repositioning agriculture as the mainstay of national development.
In order to guarantee food security in the country, the vice chancellor said that conventional agricultural practices must give way to modern tools to boost productivity.
The one-day workshop attracted over 80 participants from universities in the South-West geopolitical zone of Nigeria.