By Prossy Nandudu
Lack of modern technology for agricultural practice is to blame for the low production of food on the African continent.
The observation was made by the commissioner for Agriculture and rural economy, Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, while officiating at the 10th meeting on Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Programme meeting at the International conference center in Durban.
“The absence of the technology has led to continued production of food at subsistence level which cannot produce enough food for both home consumption and sale,” said Tumusiime.
According to Tumusiime, farmers are still using traditional tools like the hand how to cultivate small pieces of land.
“If government can spare some money and provide simple but effective agriculture tools like the hand held tractors, ploughs ,improved seeds and fertilizers, agriculture production would increase by 50% in the next five years,” she said.
She notes that the cost of acquiring farm equipment is quiet expensive for farmers hence the need for government to come and support farmers.
The conference was running under the Theme Transforming Africa’s Agriculture for a shared Prosperity, Harnessing opportunities for inclusive growth and sustainable development.
It was aimed at facilitating experience sharing among countries with a view of strengthening and deepening country engagements to advance the agriculture and food security agenda.
The Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD, Ibrahim Assan Mayak said they are ready to provide researched information on agriculture for African governments to steer debate and lead to policies that will favor increased agriculture production.
At the same function outstanding journalist who have consistently reported on Agriculture were awarded, including one from the Agriculture Journalists Association of Uganda (AJAU) Grace Musimami, who emerged the overall winner in reporting and Richard Bwayo from UBC Radio, who won in the radio category.