COMESA Needs a Green Revolution-Ngwenya

COMESA says time is now for the region to be economically transformed and integrated into the global economy through its own green revolution and industrialization.

COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya said he is certain the region would become a major granary for the world and attain food security through programmes and initiatives such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

Speaking when India’s Special Representative to COMESA,

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His Excellency Gaddam Dharmendra presented his

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credentials, Ngwenya said COMESA has a lot to learn from India’s economic and social transformation through the Green Revolution.

“Time is now for the region to economically transform and integrate into the global economy. We need to have our own Green Revolution through mechanized agriculture and industrialization, not as suppliers of raw materials”, Mr. Ngwenya said.

He observed that the region in the 1990s had gone through a phase of deindustrialization due to structural adjustment programmes, which led to decreased yields in agriculture.

Mr. Ngwenya said for the COMESA region to develop in a manner consistent with the vision of the founding fathers who fought for independence, there was need for a new model and a paradigm shift from poverty reduction to wealth creation.

He hailed the common position that exists between India and COMESA countries based on a shared history, and paid tribute to India’s role and investment in the region and the global economy in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and Information Communication Technologies.

Mr. Ngwenya said for COMESA to achieve the desired economic and social transformation, there was need for appropriate skills development and technology adoption.

Presenting his credentials, His Excellency Gaddam Dharmendra who is also India’s High Commissioner to Zambia, the hoist country for COMESA, said his country’s historical relationship with African countries and COMESA is guided by fundamental principles of mutual benefit and not exploitation.

Echoing Mr. Ngwenya’s observations, His Excellency Dharmendra said indeed skills development and education were important if COMESA was to move from an agriculture based economy to an industrialized economy.

“As from the 1960s, the fundamental tenet of India’s policies was investment in skills development and today we are reaping the benefits of that investment. Agriculture will remain an important component of our economy”, His Excellency Dharmendra said.

He said India was committed to deepened India-COMESA relationship in many areas such as of agriculture and industrialization adding that his country has supported the government of Zambia’s agriculture research institutions and Seed banks.

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