African farmers need modern tools and technological know-how

ceo of b-bovid issah ouedraogo
B-Bovid CEO, Mr. Issah Ouedraogo

Mr Issa Ouedraogo, the Chief Executive Officer of B-BOVID, an agribusiness enterprise, has expressed concern about the continuous under performance of the agriculture sector due to lack of appropriate technology and knowledge.

He said, although Africa had huge fertile lands, abundance of water and a dynamic youth population for agriculture, most farmers did not have access to appropriate technology and information for improved productivity. About 63 percent of the continent’s farming population is illiterate, a major deficit to modern agricultural practice, the CEO of B-BOVID said in a statement to the Ghana News Agency on Monday.

He called for the need to expand access to secondary and tertiary education, build capacity and promote entrepreneurship among the youth.

There was also the need to reduce migration to towns and other countries for greener pastures in building a solid foundation for a truly sustainable economic development and growth.

The statement described Agriculture in Africa as a trillion-dollar business and future of the Africa, but regretted that the continent remained trapped in outdated approach to value creation, which limited its potential. “We must prepare to tap into this global opportunity in order to come out of this vicious circle of poverty,” the statement said.
It urged a comprehensive national agenda that transcends party lines and takes into account emerging climate and environmental issues for food security.

“These must be done with a mechanism that monitors and eliminates greedy, corrupt and incompetent officials from all levels of the food chain, who continue to stifle the sector’s growth for personal aggrandizement,” it added.

It noted that the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda was possible with a well-planned, carefully nurtured and developed agricultural sector that had the capacity for youth empowerment and job creation. The B-BOVID during the previous year chalked out lots of successes in partnership with international sponsors of agribusiness supporting its network of farmers to modernize their business operations.

This is a strategic boost to the all-inclusive, climate-smart, social business model the company introduced over the past 10 years. The statement said it had through the Moringa Fund, initiated by Edmond de Rothschild Group and ONF International, an international subsidiary of the French Office National des Forêts, injected $5million into the company’s out-grower based palm oil polyculture model.

It will expand production capacity to meet growing local and regional demand for sustainable and traceable palm oil products, while improving upon livelihood of
the out-growers.

The statement said other international donors took advantage in improving prospects to inject various sums of donor funds into the company. The B-BOVID also signed a MoU with Solidaridad Network West Africa to build a comprehensive farmers’ database, farmers’ profile, digital mapping and to manage Rural Service Centers, it added.
It is done in each of its six operational centres as a means of providing support services to oil palm smallholder farmers.

credit: GNA

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Joe Bright Nyarko Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.