Ruto calls for new farming technologies
By Nicholas Nduati
Deputy President William Ruto has called on experts in the agricultural sector to come up with new farming technologies, that will help improve production to stem the rising food shortage in Africa.
While addressing an international conference on revolutionizing finance for agri-value chains, the deputy president noted that the much taunted small scale agricultural practices have failed to solve the challenges of persistent food shortage in the continent.
The African continent has over the years been riddled with famine which has been occasioned by failed rains affecting produce, and even poor post harvest storage practices.
Ruto said there is need for a paradigm shift in the sector to enable the continent feed itself and produce what is commercially viable, adding that the country had adopted large scale irrigation as a viable option.
Statistics show that small scale farmers in Kenya produce an average of 15 to 18 bags of maize per acre, while commercial farmers produce 80 to 90 bags per acre.
As such, the deputy president called on Ministers of finance and Governors of central banks in Africa, to come up with policies that encourage banks to offer cheap loans to farmers to enable them commercialize farming.
The conference brings together over 700 delegates from the private and public sectors, mainly drawn from African banks and agri-value chain stakeholders, to share experiences and lessons on agri-value chain finance.