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June 21, 2024
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PAFO Calls for Increased Investment to Power Adoption of Agric Technology in Africa 

Dr. Babafemi Oyewole, CEO of the Pan-African Farmers Organization (PAFO), has called for substantial investments to address critical challenges hindering the adoption of technology in African agriculture.

Highlighting issues such as lack of funding, inadequate infrastructure, limited farmland, market access difficulties, post-harvest losses, and climate change, Dr. Oyewole emphasized the need for government support in developing new agricultural technologies.

Speaking during an interview with AgroNigeria, Dr. Oyewole stated, “Governments should invest in the development of new agricultural technologies and support farmers’ organizations to help farmers build the capacity to adopt these innovations.”

“PAFO has been proactive in assisting smallholder farmers to mitigate the impacts of climate change, which has severely reduced agricultural productivity across the continent.

“The organization has partnered with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the European Union to mobilize resources for adaptation and mitigation projects. By promoting Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA), crop insurance, and linking farmers to early warning systems, PAFO aims to build resilience among farmers facing irregular rainfall, floods, storms, and droughts.”

Dr. Oyewole also discussed the pivotal role of government policies in ensuring food security. He pointed to initiatives such as the 2003 Maputo and 2014 Malabo Declarations and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which have led to increased public agricultural expenditure in many African countries.

However, he noted that public and donor spending still falls short of the 10% of annual budgets committed by governments. “Increased public spending, particularly directed towards improving public goods in rural areas, is necessary to enhance the productivity of smallholder farmers,” Dr. Oyewole said.

Addressing the issue of youth engagement in agriculture, Dr. Oyewole outlined PAFO’s efforts to change the perception of agriculture as a low-income profession.

He said PAFO’s Strategic Plan 2021-2025 focuses on promoting farming as a business, providing youths with training in business plan development, access to finance, and market opportunities.

Furthermore, he stressed that the International Young Farmers Summit in Kigali, organized by PAFO, emphasized the need for an enabling environment to make agriculture attractive to young people. 

The African Union Commission used the event to launch the Africa Youth Agribusiness Strategy, further supporting youth participation in the sector.

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