The newly launched African Union-Food and Agriculture Organisation framework document is aimed at increasing agricultural efficiency and reducing drudgery by helping countries in Africa to develop strategies for sustainable farm mechanization, reports NaijaAgroNet.
The Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization: A Framework for Africa (SAMA) launched on October 5, NaijaAgroNet reports is the result of discussions with policy makers from AU member states, the AU Commission, FAO and key partners. It offers a detailed look at the history of machinery in Africa, and points the way towards addressing challenges and creating new opportunities to assure the successful adoption of mechanization.
“Doubling agricultural productivity and eliminating hunger and malnutrition in Africa by 2025 will be no more than a mirage unless mechanization is accorded utmost importance,” AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Josefa Sacko, said at the launch of the framework at FAO.
Remarkably more than three-fourths of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa prepare their lands using only hand tools, a practice that entails poor productivity, repels youth and is incompatible with the continent’s Zero Hunger goal.
“Farmers in Africa should be able to use modern agricultural technology, both digital and mechanical, to boost the agricultural sector in a sustainable way,” said FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo.
The new framework identifies 10 priorities for AU member states to include in their national plans, ranging from the need for a stable supply of machine spare parts and innovative financing mechanisms, and the importance of regional collaborations that allow for cross-border hiring services.
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