By Salimat Garba
The African Union Commission (AUC) says it will ensure increase in agricultural productivity in the continent through strong support for research and development.
Mrs Rhoda Tumusiime, the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the commission, stated this at the just concluded 6th Africa Agricultural Science Week (AASW) in Accra.
According to her, one of the measures the commission is taking to enhance productivity in the area of research is to renew its Memorandum of Understanding with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).
She explained that FARA is an umbrella that brings together major stakeholders in agricultural research and development in the continent.
The commissioner disclosed that AUC was also part of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
“The CAADP is an African-led initiative that was adopted by Africa in 2003 to increase food security, reduce poverty, promote economic growth and create wealth through agricultural-led development.
“ By 2015, the CAADP project aims to achieve dynamic agricultural markets within regions in Africa and establish a good market for farmers in both local and international market.
“It will also create a more equitable distribution of wealth for rural populations and see Africa as a strategic player in agricultural science and technology,” she said.
Tumusiime noted that the AUC was working with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, to promote the CAADP agenda and public-private partnership.
She stressed that science and technology are tools to increase agricultural productivity in the continent, adding that science in agriculture demanded a lot of attention.
She observed that Africa had untapped potentials that could enable it to be food sufficient, but that there were so many challenges facing the agricultural sector.