The Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) says it will share lessons on agricultural innovations across Africa at the 8th Africa Agribusiness and Science Week Conference in Durban.
The event, which will be hosted at the Durban International Conference Centre on Thursday, is expected to distil the impact of their deployment of scientific innovations, partnerships on food systems and how the programme is helping African farmers to build climate and food resilience across agroecological zones.
In a statement, TAAT says the gathering will also present vistas on how the program is scaling various research innovations to deliver impact in countries through country projects financed by Development Banks.
Under the theme “Leading the way with agricultural innovations across Africa,” TAAT seeks to expand its efforts to transform Africa’s food systems by utilising technology brokerage as a means of achieving food security, better nutrition, poverty reduction, and addressing the environmental challenges of twenty-first century Africa.
According to the Head of the TAAT Clearinghouse, Dr Solomon Gizaw, Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation is a programme funded by the African Development Bank to increase agricultural productivity in Africa through the deployment of proven and high-performance agricultural technologies.
“Currently being implemented in 31 African countries as a central pillar of the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy and fundamental to African agricultural transformation, TAAT deploys over 100 selected, proven, and high-performance agricultural technologies along selected value chains with over 300 public and private partners. It is in line with the need to create visibility on the Programme’s commitment to transforming African food systems and engender more partnerships that we are organising this event,” Gizaw says.
On Tuesday, Michigan State University Distinguished Professor Tom Reardon said processed food has been emerging and developing as a major part of the African diet for the past 50 years.
He gave a talk at the Africa Agribusiness and Science Week Conference on the rapid rise of agrifood processing agribusiness on the continent, opportunities, challenges, and policy implications for the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).
“When we think of the rise of processed foods, very often from the recent debate it seems as if this is something that has just arisen in the past decade or so, but really processed food has been emerging and developing as major part of the African diet for the past 50 years, ” Reardon says.
“You can think of it with the image of the tidal wave, the tidal wave moves a very long distance maybe a thousand miles over the ocean in a small wave and then it surges into a huge when it comes near the shore, and this is what we have been seeing in the development of African food in Africa,” He adds.
The conference, which comes to an end on Thursday, was organised by FARA and bought together more than 600 innovators, researchers, technology developers, private sector representatives, investors and policy-makers from over 50 African countries.
The aim was to provide agribusinesses with the necessary platform to take advantage of available technology and innovation and strengthen linkages between agribusiness and science to improve the continent’s productivity and competitiveness in agro-industry.
President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Land and Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza are among the leaders attending the conference.