By Anthony Muchoki
Nairobi, August 23, 2023 — As Tanzania prepares to host a monumental gathering focusing on food systems, Hussein M Bashe, has amplified the conversation around modernizing the continent’s agricultural practices.
Tanzania’s Minister of Agriculture’s clarion call, emphasizing the imperative of aligning traditional African agricultural methods with contemporary global trends, became a focal point on social media yesterday. “As Africans, we must adapt to transform our traditional agricultural practices with the trends of the world,” he tweeted, highlighting the pressing nature of the situation.
Bashe’s primary emphasis was on small-scale farmers, who form the crux of the African agricultural sector. Beset with myriad challenges from technological constraints to the looming menace of climate change, these farmers stand at a critical juncture. However, Bashe’s eloquent phrase, “how we meet the end of the beginning,” provides both an inspiration and a challenge, encouraging all to take progressive steps toward a brighter future.
His visionary outlook encapsulates the essence of progressive evolution in his analogy, “confront this with million steps of food at a bite.” This signifies the commitment to slow but consistent advancements, each aimed to fortify the continent’s food security.
The backdrop to Bashe’s passionate plea is the pervasive issue of food security, with which African nations have grappled for generations. Climate change, outdated agricultural techniques, and resource constraints have long hindered progress. Yet, Bashe’s sentiments convey hope – a vision where Africa sustains itself and amasses reserves for subsequent generations.
The highly anticipated Africa Food Systems 2023 Summit, marked with the hashtag #AGRF2023Tz in Bashe’s tweet, is scheduled for September 5-8 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Hosted by H.E Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, along with the AGRF Partner’s Group, the summit’s theme, “Recover, Regenerate, Act: Africa’s Solutions to Food Systems Transformation,” places youth and women at its core. It seeks to facilitate dialogues that rejuvenate commitment toward food system enhancement, particularly emphasizing regeneration as a wealth creation tool for Africa.
With field visits planned for 3 September and a pre-summit on the 4th, the main event will span from 5th to 8th September at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre. The minister said the government of Tanzania had invited African leaders, and some have already confirmed their attendance, setting the stage for a transformative gathering.