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AU calls on Africa to increase investment in agricultural technology

The African Union (AU) has called on the continents leaders to invest more in agricultural technology to ensure food security and avert shortages

Africa's quick growing population is leading to a major increase in the continent's food requirements, according to AU rural economy and agriculture commissioner Rhoda Tumusiime.

Speaking at The 21st Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Executive Council in Ethiopia, Tumusiime remarked, "Food security remains a challenge for the continent. While in the past four years we have seen an increase in production, the problems in the Horn of Africa still concern us."

According to Oxfam, a food security organisation, the Sahel region of West Africa is likely to face another serious food crisis that could, that could prove costly to lives and livelihoods, if early and effective action was not taken.

Tumusiime said the situation was critical, but still manageable.

"We are working very hard to ensure that we put in place a infrastructure that will help cushion our people from hunger. As far as we are concerned, the situation can still be managed but we need to invest," she stressed.

The AU stated that it was encouraged by G8 leaders' commitment to support African agriculture.

The US had earlier announced a US$3 billion plan to boost food security and farm productivity in Africa. The initiative was aimed at alleviating shortages as world food supplies were being stretched by rising demand in Asia's emerging markets, US President Barack Obama said.