Nairobi, Kenya | Xinhua | African countries should embrace digital tools in their bid to boost crop yield in the face of climatic shocks, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Director-General Qu Dongyu said Monday.
Qu said geospatial and digital technologies have become crucial in tackling challenges facing farmers, including pests, diseases, and extreme weather events.
“It is time to embrace digital tools since they are critical in the management of emerging and re-emerging crops, animal and zoonotic diseases and pests which are on the rise with the advent of climate change,” Qu said at a briefing in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
He noted that digital tools are capable of helping raise awareness in mitigating the adverse effects of climate change, adding that the FAO will continue supporting Kenya in adopting transformative agricultural techniques to boost food production.
He lauded Kenya for joining the global food coalition that was launched by the FAO to foster sustainable agri-food systems.
Qu called on Kenyan authorities to promote the production and consumption of millet diets since it is a miracle crop that can greatly help ensure food security in arid lands.
He added that FAO is keen on ensuring that Kenya and other member states realize better production and nutrition, and that populations secure transformed livelihoods.
Mithika Linturi, cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, commended FAO for supporting Kenya in the fight against Fall Armyworms that pose an existential threat to the country’s food security.
Linturi said the FAO’s support has been very instrumental in enhancing Kenya’s implementation, operationalization, and institutionalization of one health approach.
Qu is leading a team of high-ranking officials from FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. It is his first visit to Kenya since he took up office as the director-general of the FAO on Aug. 1, 2019.