Experts say appropriate technology is essential for increased food production in Africa. It is true that there is a shortfall in food production this season due to various factors, which experts believe it’s either natural or farmers’ faults.
Erratic climatic conditions, particularly drought have been a common problem that leads to poor yields or in extreme cases crop failure but according to Andrew Egala, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Green Without Borders (GWB), the greater proportion is attributable to human blunders.
Mr Egala says the main underlying reason for low productivity is the application of inappropriate farming practices – the know-how about the use of new technology is always not highlighted to the local farmers.
The CEO of GWB lauded the government’s effort of providing inputs subsidies but highlighted the need for beneficiaries to be enlightened on how to utilize them effectively for optimal yields.
“It is imperative that the agricultural extension officers visit the farmers to guide them on the activities such as land preparation, seed rate, crop management practices, harvesting, and up to post-harvest handling,” he observed.
Mr Egala regretted that in most instances the farms are poorly prepared, and there is a low or over-seed rating as well as an incorrect fertilizer ratio, which leads to low productivity.
He stated that with the right management practices in place, an acre of maize can produce forty to 50-kilogram bags against the current 10-15 bags.
“Our organization has partnered with other players to pass information and appropriate technologies to farmers in the western region through exhibitions as well as local public forums at the village level,” he said.
He stated that despite reducing land sizes brought about by the increasing population, the farmers can still obtain maximum yields from their enterprises and increase food production, so long as they apply the right farming technologies.