Who Is Agriculture Technology?

Two significant U.S.-based foundations have announced a grand plan to rejuvenate Africa’s agriculture. The Bill and Melinda Gates Basis and the Rockefeller Foundation will spend $a hundred and fifty million in the direction of eco-friendly revolutionizing Africa’s agriculture.

smilefarm.co.th , according to a joint press release from the two foundations, “intends to increase agricultural development in Africa by addressing the two farming and appropriate financial concerns, which includes soil fertility and irrigation, farmer administration methods, and farmer obtain to marketplaces and financing.”

There is no doubt that this initiative has arrive at an opportune time. Africa’s agriculture is in close proximity to overall collapse and calls for urgent reengineering. Africa has been gradual in embracing reducing edge agricultural technologies these kinds of as biotechnology that have remodeled the economies of many building nations such as India, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and China.

This initiative stands a very good possibility to transform Africa’s agriculture. For this desire to be realized, however, each and every present day agricultural engineering have to be explored. Invoice Gates, co-chair of the Gates Basis envisages “African plant experts establishing greater-yielding and drought resistant crops and African business owners starting up seed organizations to attain small-scale farmers…”

Building high yielding and drought resistant crops would continue to be a desire as lengthy as Africa continues to see new agricultural technologies recommended by the west as tools of domination. This has been, particularly, the situation with agricultural biotechnology. Anti-biotechnology activists have produced African farmers to believe that agricultural biotechnology only serves the interests of multinational seed firms. This is misleading.

As Africa gears up to obtain the Rockefeller and Gates Foundations largesse, it have to, initial of all, appreciate that dismissing these kinds of progressive agricultural systems as biotechnology by a hand wave will not provide its agricultural passions.

It really is instructive to mention that the African Union (AU) has a pivotal role to play in making sure that Africa gains optimum benefits from novel agricultural technologies these kinds of as biotechnology.

Late previous yr, the AU via the New Partnership for Africa’s Advancement (NEPAD), commissioned a panel of African researchers and plan makers to research how modern day biotechnology could be built-in into Africa’s agricultural and wellness sectors. The panel, co-chaired by Prof. Calestous Juma of Harvard University, has presently drafted a report that, amid other issues, proposes the establishment of regional “Facilities of Excellence” for biotechnology analysis. The report will be submitted to African heads of point out meeting in January 2007. AU must ratify this report to permit Africa boost its agriculture.