The African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Board Chairman, Hailemariam Desalegn has hailed Rwanda for taking a lead in transforming agriculture growth on the continent.
Desalegn, also former Ethiopian Prime Minister said that Africa’s drive to fuel agriculture at the heart of economic transformation is needed but only a few countries on the continent have managed to invest their resources in this direction.
“Few countries have demonstrated this as well as Rwanda which seems to be recognized by the African Union once again, as a county most on-track with the desired progress in the agriculture sector as a country on track,” he said.
Desalegn was speaking at the AGRF virtual summit 2020 that was opened officially in Kigali by Rwanda’s Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente.
The summit will be held 8 – 11 September 2020 with over 10,000 participants logging online due to the Coronavirus crisis, and experts expected to discuss this year’s theme “Feeding The Cities Grow the Continent”, in various platforms which will tackle use of agro technology, trade, food chains.
Rwanda’s Prime Minister Ngirente used the opportunity to emphasis Rwanda’s commitment to take a lead in Africa’s agricultural growth and transformation through the use of technology and investment in research.
For this, Ngirente said Rwanda has set long term development frameworks, rural-urban linkages through integrated development plans which is reflected in a new 30-year development strategy for the period up to 2050 (Vision 2050).
For starts, Ngirente said that specifically 47.2% of the country surface land has been allocated for agriculture and livestock in the new revised land use master plan which was launched in September to boost agriculture activities.
He said that there will be increased agricultural production to build a well-functioning rural sector which will support the value chain.
“For this, we are increasing investments in research and innovations. These will generate and disseminate new technologies to boost the overall agricultural production,” Ngirente said.
AGRF says that a $250billion market per year leveraging Urban Food Markets to Achieve Sustainable Food Systems in Africa, is a call to action to rethink our food systems to deliver resilient, better nourished, and more prosperous outcomes for all.
“We need food systems that are equitable, sustainable, resilient, and capable of meeting the global challenges of malnutrition, poverty and climate change as well as be responsive to emerging and unforeseen challenges – such as those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We must not relent in our effort to transform food systems for the benefit of everyone,” said Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA and Special Envoy to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.
Kalibata also noted that despite Covid-19 crisis. the summit has been a success managing to pool in a large and historical number of over 10,000 participants globally from 4,000 in the previous events.
In the afternoon, President Kagame met with AGRA Chair H.E Hailemariam Desalegn and its President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata
The outcomes of the summit will be discussed by Heads of States in a “Presidential summit” which will be held this Friday afternoon Kigali Time, so that the rest of the world can participate virtually.