The African Conference on Agricultural Technologies (#ACAT2023) kicked off in Nairobi, Kenya, focusing on food security, and CropLife Africa Middle East is proud to share that Emily Rees, President and CEO of CropLife International was one of the speakers.

In her address, Emily delved into the regulatory and trade policies that can advance agricultural innovation and productivity across Africa. With most African countries net food importers and 82% of Africa’s essential food imports emanating from outside the continent, the Continent must build on its agricultural potential. She highlighted measures to improve yields and reduce post-harvest losses, such as leveraging improved seed technology and crop protection solutions.

To boost intra- and inter- Continental trade, Emily mentioned non-tariff barriers, mostly sanitary and phytosanitary: ‘’if we really want to facilitate trade, we should align as much as possible with science-based, risk-assessed regulatory models that are based on international standards.”

Some of the key takeaway messages conveyed on this first day were notable:

  • The urgent requirement for African nations to invest in Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) to achieve food security across the continent ;
  • Despite the rapid advancements in STI, they have not received the necessary policy support to utilize their potential fully;
  • African countries must establish a conducive environment for research and development ;
  • Farmers in Africa have expressed the need for Biotechnology to be made available as an agricultural tool, giving them the freedom to choose based on their specific needs rather than being limited ;
  • Mr. Daniel Magondu, the leading farmer of Bt Cotton in Kenya, mentioned the difficulties they face in accessing modern technologies and other resources, hindering their productivity ;
  • Dr. Sylvester Oikeh, from the TELA Maize project at AATF, emphasized that genetically modified organisms are safe for humans and the environment, provided they have undergone regulatory systems.

CropLife Africa Middle East is fully committed to advocating for sustainable agricultural practices and the region’s responsible use of plant science technologies. We actively promote awareness of the benefits of modern plant science solutions and champion the utilization of innovation and technology to foster a more sustainable agricultural model.