The conference, organised by the Government of Kenya and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) with support from partners, had the theme “Agricultural Resilience through Innovation”. The main focus of ACAT was to facilitate high-level discussions on developing and scaling agricultural technologies and innovations to promote economic growth and development in Africa.
During the 3RD day of the ACAT event, there was a session on “Climate-Smart Farming Solutions.” The main objective of this session was to discuss climate-smart solutions that can help reduce emissions while enhancing the adaptive capacity to the negative impacts of climate change in the agriculture sector. The panel included Mr. Jacob Cheptaiwa, the Deputy Director of Plant Variety Protection at Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Kenya; Mr. Kamwesige Mujuni Mtembei, Agricultural Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Tanzania; and Ms. Sithembile Mwamakamba, Director, Policy Research and Analysis, at FANRPAN.
The discussion mainly focused on how sustainable food production is crucial amidst the challenges of climate change. The panellists also noted that policy implementation is lacking and suggested that the private sector could support the uptake of policies. The session explored the latest innovations in climate-smart farming practices, such as conservation, circularity, regenerative agriculture, and small-scale adaptation technologies. The panelists discussed how these technologies could be applied to mitigate the impact of climate change on agriculture, particularly in Africa.
A breakout session titled “Researchers Dialogue: Accelerating Science, Technology, and Innovation” featured prominent scientists, researchers, and experts. This session aimed to boost agricultural innovation and promote collaboration among researchers. The discussion focused on the importance of trust, timely innovation, and adoption to ensure that products enter the market promptly. The session emphasised the need for stakeholder involvement from the early stages of research and scientific data sharing. The participants also recommended enhancing the relationship between industry and research to facilitate research on various aspects that significantly impact the industry.
During the conference’s ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ plenary session, Charles Gitau, the Country Director and Vice Chair of the Pan Africa Board represented AA-Academy and PrAEctiCe as a panelist. He said: “Agroecology is part of the bigger future that integrates indigenous knowledge to science. The PrAEctiCe project is precisely supporting smallholder farmers in transitioning to agroecology in aquaculture value chains.”
The event was a huge success, garnering over 600 attendees from over 30 countries.