Science, Technology and Innovation

Increasing Agricultural Productivity in Africa: Can STI help Africa to make a quantum leap in agricultural productivity? 

When: 20 October 2022 | 14:00 – 15:45 hrs (CEST)

Where: FAO Plenary Hall

Modality: Hybrid


The productivity of Africa’s agriculture is low as the continent’s crop yields have lagged behind the rest of the world.  More than half of the labour force work in agriculture, and the labour productivity very low. The agriculture ‘value added’ per worker in Sub-Saharan Africa is less than half the global average. The yields of the main cereal crops have stagnated at less than 25% of potentially attainable yields. The low yields are largely attributed to lack of access to inputs, technologies and advisory services, and low input use efficiency under rainfed conditions where climate change and associated climate variability with frequent droughts and floods reduce crop yields. In some parts of Africa, low agricultural productivity is associated with transboundary pest and diseases. These low crop yields have led to increased food insecurity, poverty and malnutrition, which are likely to worsen as the population grows. Improved see varieties, fertilizers, and access to other inputs such as machinery and irrigation could contribute to increasing agricultural productivity in Africa among many others. This event will highlight the reasons for low agricultural productivity and present the potential of science, technology and innovation to increase the agricultural productivity improve the situation. 

The session will be interpreted in all UN languages, online through Airmeet platform, UN web TV and webcast.


14:00 – 14:05

Introduction by the moderator

Ms Thin Lei Win

14:05- 14:15


Dr Qu Dongyu
Director-General, FAO


Keynote speech:
Increasing Agricultural Productivity in Africa: Can STI help Africa to make a quantum leap in agricultural productivity? 

H.E M. Papa Abdoulaye SECK 
Ambassador and the Permanent Representative of Senegal to FAO 

14:30 – 15:20















Moderated panel discussion

Ms Thin Lei Win

H.E Yaya Olaitan Olaniran
Ambassador and the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to FAO 

Dr Segenet Kelemu 
Director General, International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology

Dr Ruben Echeverria,
Senior Advisor - Agricultural Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr Redouane Choukr-Allah 
Senior Professor
University Mohamed VI Polytechnic
Benguerir, Morocco  

Ms Pacem Kotchofa
Agricultural Economist 
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

15:20 – 15:40

Moderated Q&A Session

Ms Thin Lei Win


Summary of key messages and recommendations

Dr Ismahane Elouafi
Chief Scientist, FAO