In this interview with AgroNigeria, Dr. Oluwole Fatunbi, (Programme Officer, Sub-Saharan Africa Challenge Programme; Forum for Agricultural Research (FARA),) speaks on relationships with the government, organizations across Africa, efficacy of ecological agriculture, FARA strategic support and challenges faced.
Give us an insight into FARA activities
Basically, the role of FARA among other things is forming a coalition of stakeholders for the purpose of fostering agricultural development in Africa. FARA has established many innovation platforms in the past on organic agriculture in Africa, and this is growing as I speak to you. However, this is not enough for us. We are collaborating, communicating and building capacity across African countries and a lot of achievements have been recorded. What this portends is that; the more people we are able to enlighten in the area of ecological agriculture practice, the better for Africa..
Why this much emphasis on ecological agricultural practice lately?
Africa needs to think more deeply now than ever, as far as the adoption of this innovation is concerned. We must avoid the failure of others and learn from their experiences. The west and Asians actually achieved green revolution by excessively using external inputs years back only to now be confronted with a looming danger. Africa in her own case should strive to combine the two approaches by possibly doing things in a sustainable way. Although, organic agriculture practice was slow in the past in terms of adoption, advances in the system currently shows that it can lead to high productivity, just as it is also capable of sustaining the production system. So, why then would we want to go through a path that might injure our collective existence as a continent?
Could you please expatiate how best you think Africa can get it right the organic way?
Agricultural research and development in Africa should endeavor to look into the direction of ecological agriculture development. If you look at Africa’s population today, we are over a billion, which means that we have a lot of households and people to feed, hence, the importance of the issue at stake. Don’t also forget the fact that the population we are talking about keeps increasing every day, without it commensurating with the level of food production. In view of this, all hands must be on deck to conduct research, and to equally find a way through which development can follow our findings, immediately without destroying what we have today because of posterity. For us in FARA, the awareness continues and in less than no time, people will start doing things rightly.
Due to staggering economy, policies and ineffective dissemination of agricultural technology transfer and innovation in Africa, do you think this idea can enjoy perpetual existence in Africa?
Yes, because Africa is rising and I must also emphasize that all of us must rise too, to complement our collective growth. Presently, a lot of innovations and new discoveries about organic agriculture are coming and we need to be abreast of …read more
Source:: Agro Nigeria