Africa must support its youth to transform agriculture on the continent – FARA

The Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, has reiterated calls on African leaders to safeguard the continent’s food and nutrition systems by investing in the future of its youth and in technology.

Speaking in a quarterly lecture organized by the First Technical University, Ibadan, in Nigeria, the Executive Director lamented the seeming unpreparedness of Africa for its youth explosion.

He intimated that youth of Africa are blessed with fantastic ideas which must be tapped, guided and nurtured with the right calibre of leadership, into securing the continent’s food system.

“Not supporting, not guiding and not encouraging the youth will result in capitulating the future”.

Dr. Akinbamijo has also underscored the relevance of the integration of science into agriculture to ensure positive transformation.

“Science is needed to propel innovation and bring about positive transformation”.

The executive Director indicated, that if Africa must catch up with the rest of the world, it has to speed up the rate at which it generates technology.

“ We cannot be generating technologies in inches and expect to run in miles”. He touched on the investment of the likes of china in this space and encourages Africa leaders to pick a cue if the continent must catch up with the rest of the world.

In another development, FARA and TetFund are partnering through FARA’s flagship initiative Agricultural Research and Innovation Fellowship for Africa (ARIFA) to sponsor at least 20 young faculty members of the University of Lagos to undertake postgraduate studies in Agricultural Research for Development, under a South-South and Triangular Cooperation arrangement.

ARIFA aims to produce a new generation of fit-for-purpose workforce to re-engineer the African agri-food sector to provide the change factor for rapid agricultural transformation in the next 10 years. The candidates so selected, will pursue PhDs and Masters programmes at Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV) in Brazil.

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