By KENNEDY MUPSENI-
AFRICA is losing more than $30 billion in trade due to lack of effective infrastructure development, African Development Bank (AfDB) country director to Zambia Freddie Kwesiga has observed.
In a presentation at the just ended four-day African Congress on Conservation Agriculture (ACCA) held in Lusaka, Dr Kwesiga said due to lack of efficient infrastructure, countries were losing a lot of money.
“Most of African countries do not trade together due to limited infrastructure, that is why they trade with countries abroad,” he said.
Dr Kwesiga said AfDB had put up a transformation strategy which would run from 2013 to 2022 to change the landscape of trade in Africa.
He told delegates that the strategy would among other things, scale-up agricultural financing and technology as well as supporting regional integration.
Dr Kwesiga said over 20 per cent of population live in fragile states with weak economic institutions and that, more jobs are needed and that this could only be attained by supporting value chains.
He urged countries to develop strong energy infrastructure in order to support irrigation to reduce dependence on rains.
Dr Kwesiga said more than $35 million has been committed towards reducing fragility while $100m would be spent on research, building bridges, roads and markets which were aimed at increasing trade.
There was need for countries to improve innovation to tackle the impact of global warming by engaging in climate smart activities such as conservation agriculture in respective countries.
The objective of the congress was to offer knowledge and information to guide informed decision on how to increase the extent of Conservation Agriculture (CA) adoption in Africa.
In one of the thematic discussions on Integrating CA in a holistic manner into the farming system, the proposed strategy was to create platforms for sharing and learning experiences among the various stakeholders and forge synergies.
In a presentation entitled harnessing the power of collaboration, African Conservation Tillage Network coordinator Janet Achora said farmers should complement each other rather than competing in the promotion of CA.
Ms Achora called for addressing of the entire agriculture value chain creating partnerships that promote value addition through processing and transformation in farming communication.