New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Chief Executive Dr Ibrahim Mayaki said Kenyan and other African politicians must allow scientific innovations and technologies to guide agricultural policy for economic progress.
“It is clear that the stiff global competition in agricultural productivity, trade and food systems calls for innovation, backed by science and technology. It is a must do for African countries if they wish to remain competitive,” he said.
Agriculture and livestock Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett told the 15th anniversary fete at the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) in Kabete that collaborations between government agencies and researchers will be increased so as to spur agricultural transformation within the rural farming communities.
“The hallmark of BecA-ILRI hub is to address Africa’s agricultural challenges using state of art biotechnology which has made significant contribution towards staple crops improvement for high production, better nutrition, healthy livestock hardy crop and livestock that withstands harsh conditions,” he said.
BecA-ILRI hub mainly deals in livestock and crops biosciences research as well as providing a hub for training of researchers.
Among its successes include the goat breeding programmes with smallholder farmers in Cameroon and Ethiopia as well as enhanced food safety focusing on aflatoxins detection and measurements in maize in Kenya and Tanzania.
In its fifteen years of existence BecA-ILRI has developed suitable livestock feeds, using the Brachiaria grass leading to improved milk production. African scientists also boast of a state of the art facility that enables them to produce innovative agricultural solutions for Africa.