The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), has stressed on the need for Nigeria Government to institutionalise appropriate policies to boost growth in the sector.
The Foundation said it had become imperative for the government to increase investment in technological advancement, noting that this would enhance productivity of staple crops like maize, rice, cowpeas, and cassava.
The Executive Director of AATF, Denis Kyetere, stated these at the virtual press conference, to mark the pre-launch of PBR Cowpea in Nigeria.
According to him, the use of technology is key to boosting food production in the country.
“As you all know, farmers continue to face several farming challenges ranging from the impact of climate change, pest and disease infestation, poor soil fertility, among others, that have greatly reduced agricultural productivity at farm levels.
“We would like to urge governments to exercise their statutory duty of care to put in place appropriate policies, matching regulations; and well – structured and capable institutions with relevant and qualified human resources to support growth in the sector. Innovation cannot thrive in isolation without enabling environment,” he said.
According to him, if all goes as planned “smallholder farmers in Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Mozambique could soon start planting Bt maize hybrids that are tolerant to drought.
“The maize is awaiting approval of respective regulatory authorities following successful pilot tests driven by national agricultural research systems.”