The President of the Wageningen University & Research Executive Board, Prof. Louise Fresco, has bemoaned the lack of political will by African leaders towards the development of agriculture on the continent.
At the inaugural ceremony of the International Federation of Agriculture Journalists (IFAJ) 2018 Congress, held at Wageningen University Research Institute, in the Netherlands, Prof. Fresco noted that Africa has vast fertile lands for agriculture but lack of investment and political will in tapping into these potentials is making the continent poorer.
“There’s more fertile land for agriculture activities in Africa but what do you see at the moment,” she quizzed.
Prof. Fresco revealed that Africa has less than 4 per cent of an irrigation system to support its agriculture activities unlike in China alone where 40 per cent of their farms are irrigated.
“Let nobody tell you that there is no score of potential in Africa agriculture, that is not true, Africa has so many potentials in agriculture,” she said.
Africa holds about half of the world’s fertile and as-yet-unused land. The irony of it is that Africa still spends US$25 billion annually importing food.
Prof. Fresco was of the view that industry players and governments on the continent have done not done much to develop the potentials of the continent’s agriculture sector.
She enjoined political leaders and investors to explore the numerous opportunities that exist in the agriculture sectors whilst urging agriculture journalists to place premium in agriculture reporting.
This year’s IFAJ Dutch Roots Congress was represented by 50 countries.