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‘AATF’s New Strategy Will Revolutionise Africa’s Agric Landscape’

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L-R: The executive director, African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Dr. Canisius Kanangire, Member, AATF Board of Trustees (BoT), Dr. Muhammadou Kah, Vice-chairperson, AATF BoT, Dr. Dahlia Garwe and Chairperson, AATF BoT, Prof. Aggrey Ambali, showcasing the strategy document after its launch in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In a bold move to reshape Africa’s agricultural sector, the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) has unveiled its visionary plan for 2023-2027.

With the aim of revolutionizing technology development and commercialization for farmers across the continent, the strategy, titled “Scaling for Impact,” charts a course toward a prosperous, resilient, and food-secure Africa. Aligned with the agricultural transformation goals of the African Union Agenda 2063, this transformative approach promises to usher in a new era of agricultural innovation and upliftment for the region.

Central to the strategy is the implementation of next generation (NextGen) agricultural technologies and a renewed emphasis on effective scaling to drive transformation across the continent.

Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and AATF Ambassador for Agriculture Technology in Africa, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan commended AATF’s commitment to achieving a food-secure and economically vibrant Africa. He stressed the pivotal role of agriculture in meeting the food demands of Africa’s growing population, projected to reach 1.8 billion by 2035.

In a recorded speech, Goodluck expressed his anticipation of spreading the message about the benefits of technology for African farmers, particularly smallholders. He observed that AATF’s Strategic Plan 2023-2027 would build upon continental and global commitments to eradicate hunger and poverty in Africa.

During the launch of the strategy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2023, the chairperson of AATF’s board of trustees, Dr. Aggrey Ambali highlighted the organisation’s focus on improving existing technologies and transforming them into highly advanced NextGen solutions capable of addressing the emerging challenges faced by African farmers.

“The launch marks an exciting moment for AATF as it revitalizes its mission, drawing from past experiences and promising a brighter future for African farmers through results-driven approaches,” said Ambali.

He reaffirmed AATF’s dedication to intensifying partnerships with like-minded organizations, including governments, political leaders, scientists, development agencies and farmers. These collaborations aim to harness the latest advancements in science, technology and innovation (STI) to promote sustainable agricultural transformation across the continent.

According to the executive director of AATF, Dr. Canisius Kanangire the organisation will contribute to reshaping Africa’s agriculture through a three-tier approach: diversifying agricultural technologies and expanding the frontiers for NextGen products, accelerating the commercialization and scaling of these technologies, and promoting a conducive environment that facilitates the adoption of agricultural innovations and efficient markets.

Kanangire emphasised that the new strategy underscores AATF’s renewed commitment to working closely with partners to provide practical technology solutions that address farm productivity constraints for farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. The strategy also prioritizes increasing youth and women’s participation and benefits in the agricultural sector.

During the launch, the Minister of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Dr. Belete Molla highlighted the need for Africa to embrace proven modern technologies, emphasising the importance of science, technology and innovation (STI) in transforming economies. He commended AATF as an Africa-led organization practically addressing agricultural challenges through technology, ultimately generating wealth for farmers across the continent.

A statement by AATF’s communications officer, George Achia, said that in the last two decades, AATF has dedicated itself to promoting innovative agricultural technologies that address farmer productivity constraints. It has worked with partners across the continent to access 24 innovative and cutting-edge agricultural technologies worth over US$650 million spread across 24 countries and reaching 4.8 million smallholder farmers with new interventions during the last five years.

The new strategic plan is a step towards the transformation of agriculture in Africa. The use of NextGen agricultural technologies and effective scaling will revolutionise the sector by enhancing productivity, ensuring food security, and creating wealth for farmers. AATF’s renewed commitment to working closely with partners will ensure that practical technology solutions are provided to overcome farm productivity constraints, increase participation and benefits for youth and women in agriculture, and create a functional enabling environment for increased uptake of agricultural technologies and efficient markets.

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