NAIROBI, June 12 (Xinhua) -- African governments should enact policies that encourage participation of women and youth in commercial farming, policymakers said on Wednesday.
Policy incentives combined with capacity development, access to credit, markets and technology are key to boost involvement of women and youth in agribusiness, senior policymakers and experts said at a forum in Nairobi.
"We need to prepare and support women and youth to be part of transition from subsistence to commercial led farming," said Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, the Africa Union (AU) Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Economy.
Sacko said that affirmative action is required to eliminate bottlenecks that have undermined full participation of women and youth in commercial farming that holds key to Africa's socio-economic transformation.
She urged governments to enact legislation that address gender disparity in getting access to land, credit and technologies as a means to increase the population of women and youth engaged in agribusiness.
Hamadi Boga, principal secretary in charge of agricultural research in Kenya's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries said that women and youth have a key role to play in modernization of Africa's food production systems to make them commercially viable and climate resilient.
He urged African countries to harness women and youth led innovations to transform key agricultural value chains, achieve food security, create new jobs and boost household income.
Sabdiyo Dido, senior technical adviser for agricultural value chains at CTA, i.e., the technical centre for agriculture and rural cooperation, said that African women and youth can tap into digital platforms to explore new markets for agricultural commodities.
Kenya hosted a two-day forum on promoting the role of women and youth in agribusiness attended by policymakers, industry executives, entrepreneurs and innovators.
The forum was organized by Nairobi-based African Women Agribusiness Network together with the CTA and Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum.