NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 7 – To revamp and accelerate agricultural production in sub-Sahara Africa, the concerted effort of both the public and private sector players is required.
This is according to Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore who also said that private sector players need to align their business growth strategies to the national development agenda.
The alignment will involve investment in research programmes and rollout of information technology based products and services that can enhance agricultural production.
By increasing agricultural production, he said, a fundamental shift towards a different growth path and a swifter transfer of new products or techniques into practice is required.
“Solving the future challenge of producing more with less in a more sustainable manner is not mission impossible,” said Collymore. “The private sector can lead from the front by setting aside more resources for research and innovation.”
His remarks came even as the company continues its commitment to agricultural and rural development efforts by running full steam to ensure that 80 percent of Kenya gets to enjoy 3G mobile broadband network coverage by the end of the year.
The CEO also boasted of the company’s various products which include micro-credit solutions delivered through Safaricom Mshwari and KCB M-PESA mobile money platforms which have been of help to many farmers.
“We are not reinventing the wheel. Large scale farmers in floricultural and horticultural fields are currently relying on mobile broadband Internet access, to exploit market opportunities and manage irrigation systems. Similar strategies, can easily be cascaded and customized for adoption by small-scale farmers,” Collymore said.
“For Africa to become the world’s bread basket, we must look at how to create agribusiness not just agriculture,” said Collymore even as he challenged governments saying they need to work towards ensuring stability to enable private sector investment in agriculture.