Nicholas Waitathu @PeopleDailyKe
Low use of research data, inadequate application of fertiliser and lack of sound planning is contributing to the acute food shortage Africa is grappling with currently, say agricultural experts.
Farmers are using insufficient fertiliser despite the improved seeds they are buying from the market, a situation which is made worse by the escalating vagaries of climate change such as new diseases and pests. Participants at a two-day agriculture stakeholders’ meeting in Nairobi last week heard that the disconnect between the use of seeds and farm inputs has compromised food security in the continent.
International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) Chairman Namanga Ngongi said Africa is at a critical moment in history as it faces huge challenges while trying to transform its agriculture in the face of climate change.
He observed during the East Africa Evidence to Action Conference on Agriculture and Food Security that farmers in Africa have not invested adequate resources to ensure high productivity is maintained.
Farmers in Africa and mainly the small-scale holders, Dr Ngongi said, have also not invested in soil testing which have to be done regularly in order for the farmer to identify the lacking nutrients.
Agriculture Principal Secretary, Richard Lesiyampe said though uptake of improved seeds by the farmers is high the adoption of the same has not contributed to the expected high productivity.