Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Experts Advocate for Digital Agriculture to Attract Youths in Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) have called for adoption of climate-smart and digital agriculture to attract young people and, thereby, rejuvenate an ageing global agricultural sector in Africa.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) have called for adoption of climate-smart and digital agriculture to attract young people and, thereby, rejuvenate an ageing global agricultural sector in Africa.

The Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, AfDB, Dr. Beth Dunford, in a webinar titled, “Are Climate-Smart and Digital Agriculture Solutions the Silver Bullet to Attract Youth?” They noted that the current traditional form in Africa is not attractive to young people, adding that technology makes agriculture cool enough to motivate them to be part of agricultural value chains.

The webinar was organized in preparation for the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, which is tagged “African COP’ as the impact of climate change on African countries will be a key theme of discussions.

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Agriculture and food systems, as well as the role of youths in the climate agenda, will also be a critical focus of COP27, slated for November, with a date specifically dedicated to youth participation.

The Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, AfDB, Dr. Kevin Kariuki, pointed out that there is a need for the continent to adopt climate-smart technology because agriculture across most of sub-Saharan Africa is still predominantly rain-fed, which is extremely vulnerable to both short-term fluctuations and long-term changes in climate conditions.

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“It is the most exposed sector, with estimates indicating that climate change will cause a decrease in yields of eight to 22% for Africa’s rain-fed staple crops over the next 20 years,” Kariuki said.

The Senior Director for Africa at the Global Centre on Adaptation, Prof. Anthony Nyong, disclosed that the wide gap in the agriculture sector in Africa can only be resolved through the use of digital technology, to ensure food security and economic prosperity.

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