Former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has emphasised the crucial role of technology integration in Africa’s agricultural sector to combat low yields and reduce post-harvest losses.
Jonathan made these remarks during his official unveiling as the AATF Goodwill Ambassador at a ceremony held in Abuja, Nigeria, recently.
“The use of modern technology has significantly boosted productivity in many countries worldwide. Technology ensures that smallholder farmers achieve quality harvests and increased yields. For example, technology can protect crops from insect damage, allowing the plant to realise its full yield potential,” stated Jonathan.
In his capacity as AATF Goodwill Ambassador for Agricultural Technologies in Africa, Jonathan expressed his strong belief in sustainable development and the potential of technology to enhance prosperity among African farmers.
He noted that agriculture serves as the backbone of Africa’s economy, and technology can play a pivotal role in advancing the continent’s agricultural practices. Agriculture not only holds a central place in African economies, cultures and livelihoods but also presents the continent with an opportunity to contribute significantly to global food production due to its extensive arable land.
Jonathan emphasised that Africa can achieve food security, nutrition, and poverty reduction through advancements in agriculture. He underscored the importance of smallholder farmers, who are responsible for feeding the majority and advocated for them to reap the rewards of their hard work and investments in agriculture.
The AATF Ambassador highlighted the transformative potential of technology, including precision agriculture employing satellite imagery and drones for pest and disease management. Timely responses through early detection enable farmers to address challenges effectively. He emphasised that technology in agriculture has far-reaching impacts, benefitting individuals, communities and economies across diverse social strata.
The executive director of AATF, Dr. Canisius Kanangire described Jonathan’s appointment as AATF’s Goodwill Ambassador as a “significant milestone in Africa’s agricultural journey”. He praised AATF’s commitment to bridging the gap between science, technology and farmers to enhance food security, livelihoods and sustainable agricultural practices. Kanangire highlighted the potential of science and technology, emphasising that collaborative efforts could drive progress and prosperity across the African continent.
The ceremony, attended by high-ranking government officials, members of the diplomatic community, Nigeria’s agricultural research system and farmers, marks a pivotal moment in Africa’s journey towards a brighter agricultural future.