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Collaboration Can Improve Agricultural Productivity in Africa

4 May 2012 - DuPont awards farmers for their improved agricultural productivity. This is the result of the company’s intense effort to develop science-driven innovate seeds and improved agricultural practice. By working with local farmers and growers, companies like DuPont, can help boost agricultural productivity and improve the lives of farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa.

DuPont Executive Vice President, Mr. James Borel, awarded five farmers from different regions of the country, for their best practice. The awards ceremony took place during his agricultural field visit to Shashemene, where he was able to learn more about the outcome of the company’s cooperation with the farmers.

DuPont sees this success story as a great example for how collaboration with Ethiopian farmers can bring about agricultural growth. “Our capability and passion for innovation, combined with provision of the necessary tools and knowledge, puts us in the ideal position to help address the key challenges that the African continent and its people are facing, as a result of population growth,” says Borel.

“Demographic change is under way in Africa and that it’s the place to be, for DuPont, as the continent is set to double its population to nearly 2 billion people, by 2050 – more than 20% of the world population. Population growth of that magnitude brings with it enormous challenges… Challenges that science will play a big part in addressing.”

Scientists and various agricultural experts have already concluded that Africa looks to become a future food basket of the world. This development will bring about great challenges but also great opportunities for farmers across the continent. DuPont seeks to play a key role in this development.

“We are ensuring that our science and technology goes first, where it has the biggest impact – protecting people and the environment, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and of course, feeding the world, our main focus in the food and agriculture business. Ensuring that enough healthy, nutritious food is available for people everywhere is a key focus for DuPont and the biggest driver of our growth in Africa.”

DuPont will now work on expanding its presence in Ethiopia and initiate projects with more local farmers, like Debebe Ayele and Tarekegn Wakjira – awarded farmers from the SNNPR and Oromya regions, respectively – to help them maintain and expand their agricultural productions.

“Our company is working every day to get food to people – from working with farmers around the world to help them increase crop yields, to developing a wide range of packaging materials that enable food to be transported without spoilage, and developing more nutritious food options and ensuring food safety. At the same time, we realize that providing for the food needs of a growing Africa will require more than science alone – it will require many people working together. It is for this reason that we collaborate across borders, companies, governments, organizations and cultures to devise solutions – both large and small – that will improve the lives of people around the world and here on our local soil.”