Technology can enhance African agriculture – Alban Bagbin
Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, has told African countries that they need to focus on innovation and technology in farming if they want Africa to reach its full potential as the food basket of the world.
He was speaking at the Council of Ewe Associations of North America (CEANA) Convention and 30th Anniversary in Atlanta, Georgia. The theme of his speech was “Empowering our youth toward innovative entrepreneurship in transformational agriculture.”
The speaker said that technologies like GPS, sensors, drones, and data analytics need to be used in agriculture to make the best use of resources, check on crop health, and increase output. It will also help young people who work in agriculture make decisions based on accurate data, which will cut down on waste and make them more efficient.
He argued that young people today are tech-savvy and would not be interested in farming in a crude way. “More young people will choose to work in farmland if the government puts money into making it more modern and uses technology in farming. This will help solve the problems of feeding the world’s growing population in a sustainable way. It will also create economic chances for rural areas and change the way we grow, distribute, and eat food, he said.
He said that innovation in agriculture should focus on reducing waste and rethinking the constant oversupply of farm products, the very low prices during the oversupply, and how farm products are left to rot before a season of shortage. He said that this should affect how post-harvest losses are handled and how agrobusinesses are helped to reduce such losses.
Mr. Speaker said that selling farm products could also use some innovation because it can help local economies in Africa, cut down on the number of miles food has to travel, and make the food supply chain work better. Also, the young farmers will make more money from their investments and put that money back into their farms.
To get young people interested in farming, he called for policies that would make it easier for young people to own and use land. He said that some of the things that need to be done are land redistribution, leasing programs, and support for communal land ownership, as well as a conscious effort to get women, indigenous groups, and rural youth involved in agriculture.
He asked Africa’s banking institutions to make sure that young farmers could get loans, grants, and subsidies to help them buy equipment, seeds, and other things. He said that giving young people more power in agriculture needs a whole-person approach that looks at modernizing agriculture, education, access to resources, policy support, and cultural views.
The Speaker, who is also known as Torgbui Nuterperwola Awudome I, praised CEANA on its 30th anniversary. CEANA is a group of Ewe people from Ghana, Togo, and Niger who live in North America. He said that the group can’t be taken for granted because of its strength, persistence, and hard work over the past 30 years. He talked about how CEANA, Ghana’s parliament, and himself were all enjoying 30 years at the same time. He said, “I know what it takes to do the same thing for 30 years and try to get better every year.”
He was impressed by CEANA’s dedication to improving farming methods and building up the Ewe communities in the three countries. He said, “It shows a group of selfless people who want to make a difference for both the present and the future.”
The Speaker was with his wife, Ms. Alice Adjua Yornas, Emmanuel Bedzrah, MP for Ho West, Rockson Dafeamakpor, MP for South Dayi, Dela Sowah, MP for Kpando, Joycelyn Tetteh, MP for North Dayi, Kofi Attor, former MP for Ho Central and the Speaker’s Special Aide, and Mr. Gayheart Mensah, the Speaker’s Communication Expert.