DAR ES SALAAM — Vice President Dr. Philip Mpango’s address at today’s AGRF Dealroom event was a clarion call for agricultural transformation in Africa. Addressing African leaders with fervor, Dr. Mpango spotlighted the critical areas of innovation, inclusivity, and fair trade in the continent’s agricultural landscape.
Speaking on the continent’s potential, Dr. Mpango remarked, “I think Africa needs to harness existing scientific knowledge including indigenous technology to produce food for its people and the global market.” He further emphasized the role of governments, stating, “Our governments should play a pivotal role in equipping small-scale farmers with the tools and skills they need – be it affordable inputs, finance, or knowledge – to amplify productivity along value-chains.”
Drawing attention to the youth and women’s vital role in agriculture, the Vice President pointed out, “We need to appreciate that our youths and women are the core centers of agriculture… The future of our agriculture lies in the hands of our youth. Making the sector attractive to them through modern technology, easy land access, startup capital, and quick-return activities like horticulture is imperative.”
Highlighting the issues farmers face, Dr. Mpango voiced his concerns, “There is a need to put an end to exploitative practices to the farmers by enforcing the use of standard weights and measures.” He pressed the importance of safeguarding various sectors like meat, rice, and maize.
On the international trade front, Dr. Mpango called for solidarity among African nations. “I urge other African countries to honor the AfCTA agreement by complying with trade protocols and removing non-tariff barriers,” he urged.
Dr. Mpango addressed the essential role of peace and security in sustainable food systems, stating, “Wars and conflicts have decimated the productive capacities of countless food systems. Relying on the goodwill of others is no sustainable solution. Together we must ensure peace and security prevail in our beloved continent and other parts of the world.” He emphatically stated, “Each one of us is equally and divinely entitled to the right to food.”