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Africa Needs New Farming System – Dr Akoto



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The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has called on scientists to develop new technologies, and knowledge to help produce food and fibre in a sustainable way that aligns with the new climate realities.

With the impact of climate change and other factors on food security, he said, Africa needed new farming systems and techniques to aid farmers produce more with less external input.

“We also will need to develop new varieties, and new livestock breeds that are tolerant to adverse weather conditions and are able to withstand the vagaries of climate change,” he said.

Dr Akoto was speaking at the opening of a three-day Science and Partnerships for Agriculture Conference (SPAC 2022) underway in Accra.

More than 350 delegates from 35 African countries and others from Europe are attending the event organised by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), a continent-wide non-governmental organisation.

The event, on the theme, “Introspection on climate-smart agriculture action to strengthen accountability, resource use and impact in Africa”, has created the platform for discussion on innovative solutions to climate-smart agriculture.

Dr Akoto said innovation in agriculture was vital because more than 147 million people were facing crisis levels of food insecurity, an increase of 20 million since 2020, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

He said even before the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the situation, the sustainability of African food systems was challenged by climate change and conflict, while the Russia-Ukraine war had worsened the condition through effects on food, fuel, and fertiliser.