A high level conference on application of Science, Technology and Innovation in harnessing African Agricultural transformation, has recommended that African countries must embrace science to improve food production. This follows a high level conference held to specifically discuss ways of applying science, technology and innovation, to improve African economies through agriculture.
The conference took place at the Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala and it brought together a cross section of participants from all over the world and they included Ministers and MP’s among others.
Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda who officiated at the closing ceremony, saluted the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation with its partners, for organizing such a successful conference. The partners included the African Union New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), African Biosafety, COMESA and the African Agriculture Technology Foundation.
He said that African agriculture must continue to make use of science, technology and innovations to improve food production. ‘It is important that integrating modern biotechnology into Africa’s agriculture for food security and economic growth is long overdue,’ the Premier noted.
Uganda is in advanced stages of enacting a biosafety and biotechnology law, to provide a framework for scientists to innovate and apply science to improve agriculture production. ‘Although there are still some divergent views on the matter, there is consensus that we should apply science and innovation in a responsible manner to support livelihoods, ‘he said.
It was noted that Uganda and other countries represented during the conference have made significant progress on agreed upon issues. These include the role of Public Private Partnerships in transforming African agriculture and strengthening intellectual property rights to catalyze transformational change in Africa’s agriculture, among others.
The Prime Minister also noted that if Africa was to transform agriculture, there is need to effectively communicate in a timely manner with quality agricultural knowledge and information.
The Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye pledged continued collaboration with partners to promote use of science and innovation to improve agriculture.
Small holder farmers are the continent’s main source of food, employment and income. Therefore agreeing on mechanisms that ensure sustainable production of these farms, by using science and technology is very critical.