|Hope for Africa.|
The two universities run by the Legionaries of Christ organized a study day in Rome, September 24, 2009, for the forthcoming Synod of African Bishops, to discuss the possibilities offered by new technologies in agriculture.
"Africa is the richest continent in the world of raw materials, but also one in which there are more people dying of hunger and disease," he said in his introduction Father Gonzalo Miranda, LC, Professor of the Faculty of Bioethics Ateneo Regina Apostolorum Pontifical. The teacher recalled that 's 80% of Africans living from agriculture, drought and backwardness but threaten the future.
Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, Archbishop - Bishop of Trieste former Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said in his speech that "so complex and deep problems there are solutions unique and simplistic." "To achieve an appropriate agricultural development - he said - are infrastructure, transportation, schools ... They are also indispensable pacification and political and social stability ... But we can not ignore the many benefits that would result from the use of innovative production techniques capable of supporting and stimulate African farmers. "
"The book of Genesis - said Bishop Crepaldi - teaches us that God has entrusted to man, created in His image and likeness, the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. With intelligence received from the Creator, the ability to understand the mechanisms of nature and the possibility of using these mechanisms with new technology always, the man can progress in the cultivation of the garden. With his ethical sensitivity, with the exercise of prudential assessment and the crippling sense of responsibility should not also be able to direct its growing potential for technological innovation to the welfare and economic and social development of all. "
The conference hosted the testimony of representatives of African agriculture, which have stressed the need to be able to increase productivity with a higher rate than population growth, increased in ten years from 760 to 970 million people.
Public investment in agriculture currently reach only 4% of total expenditure, although agriculture accounts for 30% of the GDP of the continent.
Africa has the highest percentage of people working in agriculture, but the techniques are still underdeveloped and inadequate. For this reason, in recent years, have been promoted training to make an important contribution to the growth of people.
Eric Kueneman, Senior Officer of FAO, has demonstrated the commitment of his organization to facilitate access of local farmers with new farming techniques. In Burkina Faso, for example, was launched in 2001 the "Farmer's Field Schools." Thanks to this training initiative, more than ten thousand farmers have learned directly in the field cultivation techniques of vegetables, rice and cotton.
Charles Climate, press officer of the University Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University and European University of Rome
E-mail: @ carlo.climati upra.org