African leaders have been advised to invest in research and development and to also encourage innovative ways to process nutritious foods through indigenous food products.
The Chief Executive Officer of Wandieville Media, Yewande Kazeem, who gave the advice at a High-Level Dialogue on Feeding Africa: Leveraging existing and successful innovations, organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB), said there is need to also invest in technology, to scale and increase efficiency, capacity for data, and create technology adaptation for smallholder farmers in remote areas.
Other organisers are International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD), Consultative Group for International Agriculture Research -CGIAR and Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).
While narrating how Wandieville weekly newsletter, features agripreneurs in Africa about their entrepreneurial journey, innovation, products and more, she said some of the entrepreneurs featured have gotten investments and grants for their businesses through the channel.
She noted that based on interface with entrepreneurs and youths across the continent, she discovered that they all have the same challenges, noting that key solutions needed are finance that benefits SMEs, streamlined to understand their constraints, and financiers that understand the sector.
“Agriculture education needs to be revamped and taught as a business to encourage students to study agriculture, but most importantly encourage entrepreneurship in schools.
“We are losing the gender gap in agriculture. Young women should not only have access to land but they should also see beyond primary production, there should be more women with tractors, involved in logistics, inputs, seed systems, in research, women as extension workers and financiers.”
She recommended the need to address insecurity across the Sahel, provision of infrastructure, processing zones, storage, post-harvest management and support that can reduce the cost of doing business in the continent.