Overcoming challenges to food security: Points of view

Khalid Bomba, ATA:
“The major challenges are the efficient implementation of many of the strategies and technologies that we already have. I don’t think we need new technologies and new strategies.
From a long-term perspective, I think that the environmental and social sustainability of our strategies needs to be an important part of the equation. We can’t be trying to address food security merely for today.”

Teresa Okiyo and Mary Oyumga-Ogubi, KARI

Teresa Okiyo, KARI:
“We are growing the wrong crops which are not adapted to our local and specific environment.
We have to talk to farmers to encourage them to do the right thing in the right way at the right time.”

Mary Oyumga-Ogubi
“You find agricultural people sitting on their own, the health people on their own, nutrition people on their own, yet they all claim they have the same agenda to improve people’s health.
There is a gap between research and consumers” - research never reaches the end- user; when it does, they are not able to implement it.

Jean Claude Rubyogo, CIAT-PABRA:
“Food security means production as well as access to cash. In my view the key challenges are low investment (from government, private sector, exporters, traders) and lack of good infrastructure for development.
If we involve the private sectors, the government and farmers will respond to incentives and use the technologies. Otherwise, if farmers don’t see the rewards they are not going to use them.”

Elisabeth Atangana, PAFO

Elisabeth Atangana, PAFO:
“It is important to talk about political transformation in Africa to put agriculture at the centre. It is also important to increase participation and the involvement of farmers to identify their needs. We have training, technology, extension and markets which all together can improve productivity in Africa.”

Edward Paice, Africa Research Institute:
“We have here a collection of some of the leading research specialists in the world as far as research into agriculture in Africa is concerned.
So I feel privileged to be here as an interested observer. If I think of the lessons learned so far, many of the solutions are there but the political will to follow them is not and this I think is really one of the critical problems.
The standard of the presentations on the whole has been extraordinary and I would like to congratulate the organizers for the very relax but professional air about the whole proceedings.”

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