President Jakaya Kikwete has said lack of money is still a major hindrance to the development of agriculture in most African countries south of the Sahara.
The President made the remark in a speech yesterday when addressing 120 delegates and representatives from African countries who gathered in Dar es Salaam to deliberate on issues affecting the agricultural development in the African region.
The forum dubbed “China-Africa poverty reduction and development forum on agricultural modernisation for poverty reduction” is organised jointly by the President’s Office Planning Commission (POPC) and the International Poverty Reduction Centre of China (IPRCC).
The focus of the forum, attended by senior government officials from nine African countries, is on deepening the understanding of development approaches and strategies that have been effective in reducing poverty.
They gathered to deliberate on various ways they can learn from the Chinese agricultural technology experts so as to end the impending food insecurity in the region.
The one-day forum exchanged ideas between participants from the African region and China on various ways to achieve success that Africa could emulate, to alleviate poverty and malnutrition, the two elements affecting the African region.
In his speech, President Kikwete told the delegates that if money could be made available in Africa for agricultural investments, the region would be able to curb food insecurity in the continent.
He said about 70 percent of rural people in Africa depend entirely on agriculture, but the people in the region lag behind in production of food and keep begging for it from outside. “Africa still uses outdated means of agriculture which results in an extremely low production that does not suffice the needs of the populace in respective countries.”
The president noted that malnutrition and poverty would be reduced among African rural communities if the continent invests in food crops, pointing out that inadequacy in modern machinery to help water supply, weak rural infrastructure and poor technology are factors that hinder agricultural development in African countries,
“Unless we have enough money to drive such development initiatives, Africa will continue remaining stagnant in terms of agricultural development,” he said.
Another aspect that constrains major development initiatives is reduction of donor funds to spearhead Africa agricultural development. Donor contribution declined from $18 billion to $ 3 billion for the last 20 years, culminating in gradual and low agricultural development.