Africa's farm sector 'key to cutting poverty'
Building a sustainable agricultural sector in Africa is key to addressing under-nutrition and rural poverty across the continent, an international conference on agriculture held at Trinity College Dublin heard yesterday.
The conference, Scaling Up Agriculture: Sharing Challenges and Experiences of Modernising Agriculture in Ireland and Africa, follows the launch in March of a €2 million Africa Agri-Food Development Fund by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The fund is part of Ireland’s overseas development programme and is designed to support the development of new partnerships between the agri-food sectors in Ireland and Africa.
Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello said priorities should include increasing productivity; prioritising women farmers; and establishing systems that give farmers a fair payment for their produce and develop markets that add value and create jobs.
“Building a productive agriculture sector in Africa will help tackle under-nutrition and rural poverty across the continent,” he said.
He announced €4.8 million in funding to support research and education partnerships between Irish and African higher education institutes.