New York, United Nations – President Bola Tinubu in a significant address at the High-Level Meeting on “Attracting investments in Land Restoration, Food Systems, and Rural Transformation in Africa” held on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, underscored the critical need for creating a sustainable environment for investment opportunities in agriculture. This emphasis on sustainable agriculture is seen as vital to achieve food security in the continent.
President Tinubu, represented by Sen. Abdulaziz Yar’dua, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Nigerian Army, stressed the importance of enabling smallholder farmers in Nigeria and across Africa to access financing for agricultural activities. This financial support, he explained, is essential to boost farming productivity, especially in rural areas.
President Tinubu also lamented the detrimental impact of poor governance and insecurity on agriculture in Africa. He pointed out that poor governance has led to conflicts and political instability in various African regions, hindering agricultural activities and exacerbating food insecurity.
Another significant challenge highlighted by President Tinubu was the vulnerability of Africa to climate change. He noted that climate change brings unpredictable weather patterns, prolonged droughts, and flooding, all of which can severely affect agricultural productivity.
Addressing issues specific to Nigeria, President Tinubu raised concerns about limited access to financing for rural farmers, citing the lack of banking infrastructure in many local government areas. He also noted the need for improved rural infrastructure, including better access roads for transporting agricultural produce to markets.
Technology adoption in rural communities and consistent agricultural policies were identified as additional factors influencing agricultural practices. President Tinubu emphasized the need for technology adoption and called for consistent and supportive government policies.
In conclusion, President Tinubu expressed optimism that the meeting would provide a platform for addressing these challenges effectively. He urged participants to intensify their efforts in overcoming the obstacles hindering agricultural practices in Africa.
Chief Executive Officer of AUDA-NEPAD, Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas, echoed the importance of coordination and collaboration among African countries. She emphasized the need to empower women in agriculture and remove barriers to financing for smallholder farmers.
Ms. Bekele-Thomas stressed that achieving food security and agricultural transformation requires a holistic approach, involving multiple stakeholders and a concerted effort to address challenges and enhance productivity.
The High-Level Meeting served as a platform to explore innovative solutions, investment opportunities, and partnerships aimed at boosting agricultural productivity, resilience, and sustainability in Africa. It underscored the significance of sustainable agricultural practices in ensuring food security and fostering economic growth across the continent.