The Director-General, DTCA, Amb. Rabiu Dagari, mni on Tuesday said that the solution to the myriad of challenges in Africa lies in the application of science, technology and research.
Dagari stated this during a visit to Pan African University of Life and Earth Sciences Institute, (PAULESI), University of Ibadan on Tuesday.
The DTCA boss said that while Africa has a large population engaged in agriculture, unfortunately it was rural agriculture and the production level is too low to meet food sufficiency which was why Africa spent a lot of money importing food from other continents, which should not be.
“It is only through the application of science, technology and research that have been conducted all across Africa that we would be able to raise the level of productivity to an extent that it would reduce the amount of money we spend importing food into Africa. “Agriculture is a very important sector that should form the basis of our industrialization”.
“I don’t think there is any country that has made it without having a solid agricultural sector feeding itself, without having to import. China has over 1.3 billion people but they are not importing food. They grow most of their food by mobilizing their population, training them and improving their seed quality to have high yielding crops that are resistant to pests”.
“So that is the way for Africa to go, without doing that, we will continue to languish and then use our hard-earned foreign exchange to import food from abroad,” Dagari said.
According to him, his visit to Ibadan was to seek collaboration with PAULESI and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on ways to move the African continent forward in terms of deployment of cutting-edge research in agriculture to farmers.
“We know that IITA has done a lot of research and we want to see how we could take from the shelves what they have researched into and see how it could be taken to the end users, the farmers”.
“And also, we want to midwife by putting all the institutes and research agencies together and see if they can work together with the government and the state governments all across Africa,” he said.