Kenyan President William Ruto has called for increased investment in modern agricultural technology in order to meet the twin challenges of food shortage and climate change.
Making his maiden speech at the 77 UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, Dr Ruto said agriculture has an important part to play in reducing the severity of climate change, noting that “a number of practices have a bearing, positive or negative, on various dimensions of the environment.”
Kenya, he noted, is responding through substantial investment in climate-resilient agriculture.
“At the core of our 10-year strategy for Agricultural Sector Growth and Transformation are nine flagships,” he said, stating that this include the registration of farmers to direct incentives, improving farmer practices through customised extension services, monitoring of emergency food reserve stocks using a Digital Food Balance Sheet, and the use of an Early Warning System to monitor food supplies and market prices.
“Agriculture remains the bedrock of the development of many nations, and will thus continue to hold the key to the creation of equitable and sustainable growth for our people. No country, large or small, has ever attained significant growth without modernising its agricultural sector,” he said.
“We are encouraged to note that education, health, agriculture, and numerous other public services have become increasingly reliant on digital access.”
The world, Dr. Ruto said, needs greater investment in the development of ICT infrastructure, accompanied with policies that support innovation and increased acquisition and deployment of technology.
“In so doing, we should be driven by the conviction that these measures offer a viable shortcut to poverty reduction and the promotion of inclusive development,” he said.
“I call for stronger global partnerships to enhance ICT infrastructure in developing countries and bridge the yawning digital divide between the global south and the rest of the world.”