• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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How CGIAR is changing Africa’s agric narrative

FG inaugurate steering committees for donor funded Agric projects

Agriculture has long been known to hold a great promise in transforming the African continent and placing it on a path to sustainable growth.

It accounts for a quarter of GDP in sub-Saharan Africa, employing as much as two-thirds of the population.

Despite its economic relevance, Africa’s agricultural productivity is still about half the global average, while population pressures and intense cultivation have degraded about 65 percent of its cropland.

Africa has the world’s youngest population – 60 percent of its 1.4 billion people are under 25 – but only 3 million jobs are created for some 12 million young people who enter the workforce each year, according to the African Development Bank.

The continent would need 60 percent more food than it currently produces now to feed its fast-growing population.

According to experts, faster and more sustainable agricultural growth is not only crucial to Africa’s economy, but also to its ability to feed its 1.4 billion people and employ its fast-growing young population.

Experts say new agricultural technologies need to be deployed to rapidly drive food production while adapting to challenges posed by climate change.

According to them, the continent must drive a green economic revolution with agriculture playing a crucial role, while also saying that productivity must be doubled with half the inputs it currently uses without further degrading the environment.

To accelerate agricultural growth and ensure that African agriculture, which is overwhelmingly rain-fed, and uniquely vulnerable to climate change, can produce enough to feed its 1.4billion people, the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)  is at the forefront in redefining Africa’s agriculture through research and innovation.

CGIAR provides scientific and innovative approaches to end world inequalities and solve hunger.

CGIAR has been playing a pivotal role in supporting developing nations, especially over the last fifty years, to meet their food and nutrition security challenge by helping to rapidly increase agricultural production and productivity, particularly in Africa where farming indicators lag behind the rest of the developing world.

To attain efficiency, CGIAR has reinvented itself over the years and is trying to do better, what they do best. As the collective voice for research and development on the continent, in principle, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa ( FARA) is delighted at the idea of the coalition of research centres in the context of the One CGIAR.

Read also: Buhari taps Dangote fertiliser for jobs, agric growth

One CGIAR is the last strategy that focuses on fast, innovative, cost-efficient and sustainable solutions deployed globally towards achieving global goals for 2030.

The founding purpose of CGIAR is to combat food shortages in tropical and subtropical countries through research and investment in new, highly productive plant varieties and improved livestock management.

Today, CGIAR is made up of 13 Centres and Alliances that are embarking on a significant and exciting transformation with its unified and impactful OneCGIAR Strategy.

“Climate and food crises can only be solved in tandem, with climate and agriculture science – with that, we can build back better for the people and the planet. Science and innovation will give a chance for agriculture to be part of the climate solution,” CGIAR said on its website.

“The goal of the OneCGIAR Strategy is to put the climate crisis at the heart of global research on food security.”

Innovations around rice, cassava, aquaculture, ruminant livestock and poultry, fodder agronomy, pulses, dryland cereals, general agricultural practices, bioengineering, and biofortification among others are of the visible footprints of the CGIAR in Africa and other developing countries.

In terms of human capital development, CGIAR through its training programs for Africans has supported in developing the capacities of hundreds of Africans to conduct Africa- oriented science and research in boosting food production and tackling rural poverty.