Africa: Former Nigerian President Calls for Investment in Agricultural Research
By Henry Neondo
ABUJA----Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the African nations to invest in agricultural research to tap into the opportunities offered by the vast arable lands in the continent.
Obasanjo said that for Africa to maximize its full potential, the governments on the continent must support institutions such as International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and others to acquire the technology and knowledge needed to create wealth.
He said that Africa needed to think about the next generation as the population is expected to hit 9 billion by 2050.
“The point is that the tools used 45 years ago are likely to be obsolete, unless we rejuvenate,” he said.
The president of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, said nations need to meet their statutory financial obligations to such institutions.
The Director General of IITA, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, said rejuvenating research institutions would be benefit to Africa.
He said the battle of tomorrow will be food and water, explaining that IITA is well positioned to offer technologies that would improve agricultural productivity and create wealth.
Of the 60 percent arable land on the continent, only 33 percent has been cultivated.
Sanginga emphasized that investment in research for development was the only way forward for Africa.