Envoy: Innovation is key route to up farm production

Iranian Ambassador to Kenya Ali Gholampour. [Iran Press]

Farmers have been urged to embrace technology as a means to enhance productivity and overcome the challenges posed by climate shocks.

Speaking during the Agritech Africa International Exhibition that opened in Nairobi on Wednesday, Iranian Ambassador to Kenya Ali Gholampour emphasised the pivotal role of innovation in bolstering farming practices and increasing harvest yields.

Over 180 exhibitors are showcasing the latest advancements in farming technology at the expo being held at KICC until Friday.

“Climatic shocks continue to increase and the only way to manage it is through learning and adapting to new technology,” Dr Gholampour said.

The Iranian presence at the expo further underscored the growing partnership between Iran and Kenya, following the late President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit in July 2023. Signed contracts aimed at strengthening bilateral ties included provisions for the export of medical equipment, medicine, and knowledge-based agricultural products, signaling a promising avenue for economic cooperation.

Wanabadu Katelo, representing the Ministry of Agriculture at the expo’s opening, reiterated the significance of technology in driving agricultural growth, citing its potential to up farmer incomes and foster business opportunities, particularly for MSMEs.

He also highlighted the development of a platform by Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation aimed at facilitating farmer access to knowledge, calling for collaborative efforts from both government and non-governmental agencies to support technological integration in farming practices.

The expo also received contributions from other key partners, including India and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Indian Ambassador Rohit Vadhwana noted the shared agricultural challenges faced by India and Kenya, underscoring the importance of mutual learning and collaboration to address sectoral issues.

FAO Deputy Country Representative Hamisi Williams said there is global need for innovative agricultural solutions, particularly in the face of population growth, climate change, and environmental challenges.

“By 2019, we had about 570 million people that were at the risk of going hungry that particular night. But then the challenges came. Notably amongst them is the Covid-19, followed by locusts, then came drought and now we have just experienced the floods,” he said.

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