Kufuor receives FARA award

John Agyekum Kuffour (2)Former President John Agyekum Kufuor was honoured over the weekend at the Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa by the Forum for African Research in Africa (FARA), for his exemplary leadership in the Agricultural Development Agenda in Africa.

The award presented by Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director of FARA, was received on his behalf by Mr. Frank Agyekum, Spokesperson and Special Aide to the former President Kufuor.

The citation to the award commended the former President for his “advocacy role towards securing funding for the work of FARA, and for his believe in science and technology as the bedrock for the transformation of agriculture in Africa”.

In a speech, former President Kufuor stressed the importance of innovation, science and technology in agriculture as means for turning around Africa’s fortunes and regretted that for far too long agricultural practice on the continent is still at its basic stage.

“Agricultural practice in our part of the world today, resembles those done by our fore-fathers centuries ago. We tilt the land using the same rudimentary methods that are centuries old. This makes farming and other agricultural practices backbreaking, tedious, unrewarding and unattractive, especially to the youth,” he noted.

President Kufuor said Africans have witnessed how innovation, scientific, and technological advancements have benefited farmers in the industrialised world by driving agriculture production, often into abundance, stressing that, this makes farming attractive, beneficial and lucrative.

“The smallholder farmers who are responsible for 80 per cent of the food in the developing world have yet to see similar gains. These farmers, majority of whom are women, lack access to many of the modern tools and means needed to be successful, such as: modern irrigation methods, crop management strategies, proper application of fertilisers, solutions to post-harvest losses, improved seedlings, mobile technology, and access to information and extension services among others,” he said.

President Kufuor said the successes achieved in other jurisdictions could be replicated in Africa and this could be done through innovation and the application of modern scientific and technological ways of agriculture.

“If we do this, we can move dramatically toward increasing productivity yields, conserving food, reducing post-harvest losses and food wastage, and eventually attain food sustainability by curbing hunger and malnutrition among our people.”

The awards night marked the end of the week-long celebration of the 15th anniversary of FARA under the theme: “Delivering Africa’s future through science-led agricultural transformation,” which attracted about 1,000 participants from across the globe.

By Times Reporter

 

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