Africa has the potential to feed itself and export the surplus, Kenyan President William Ruto said, noting that the continent has huge agricultural space that it must exploit.
Speaking on Thursday in Dar Es Salaam during the Africa Food Systems Forum 2023 hosted by Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu, the Kenyan leader observed that it is time countries in Africa worked together and put to use their untapped resources.
“We must utilise the enormous arable lands that we have to our advantage,” he said.
President Ruto highlighted that the continent’s favourable weather coupled with the deliberate recruitment of the youth into the sector will further make Africa food stable.
Presidents Évariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi), Hussein Mwinyi (Zanzibar), Macky Sall (Senegal), among other high-ranking leaders, were also present on the day.
Ruto told dignitaries that there will be no future in agriculture unless the youth are on board.
“A new narrative around agriculture will make it attract more young people who can help us produce more efficiently.” He cited the employment of new technology and increased mechanisation as some of the strategies to use.
Furthermore, he told the Summit that through Kenya’s Government deliberate plan to subsidise production, at least 60 million bags of maize will be realised this year.
He added that the increased production — of more than 20 million bags as compared to last year’s — was due to the accessibility, affordability and availability of seeds and fertilisers.
“We are now addressing the post-harvest losses that we have been suffering from,” Ruto underscored.
On her part, Ms. Suluhu said Africa’s food security also lies in the continent offering financial support to farmers, stressing that access to affordable credit will ensure farmers produce more.