AfDB plans $24bn investment to accelerate African Green Revolution

Abuja, Aug.30, 2017 (TNE) : African Development Bank (AfDB) is accelerating the development of African Green Revolution through its Feed Africa Strategy with planned investment of 24 billion dollars over the next 10 years.

Akinwumi Adesina, President, AfDB, announced the plan in a statement on Thursday in Abidjan.

He said that the bank is leading a campaign to unlock the continent’s food and agriculture market, projected to reach one trillion dollars by 2030.

Speaking ahead of the 2017 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), Adesina said greater attention must be paid to the implementation of concrete plans for achieving green revolution in Africa.

“At AGRF 2016, many of Africa’s steadfast champions of agriculture pledged more than 30 billion dollars in investments to increase production, income and employment for smallholder farmers and local African agriculture businesses over the next 10 years.

“The ground is already ploughed. Together, let us now sow the seeds of hope and reap a harvest so plentiful in the years ahead,’’ he said.

Adesina said the forum, considered to be the most important meeting on African agriculture, would be held under the patronage of Alassane Ouattara, President of Côte d’Ivoire.

The seventh African Green Revolution Forum, is scheduled to take place in Abidjan from Sept. 4 to Sept. 8 with special focus on “Accelerating Africa’s Path to Prosperity: Growing Economies and Jobs through Agriculture”.

The Forum is to be hosted by Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an African-led institution focused on putting farmers at the centre of the continent’s growing economies.

AGRA is built on an alliance of partners that care about, commit to and invest in Africa’s agricultural transformation.

AGRF partners include AfDB, African Union, African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership, AGRA, Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Others are Mastercard Foundation, New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), OCP Africa Group, Rockefeller Foundation, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions, Syngenta, and YARA International.

The AfDB president said the forum would bring experts and other stakeholders together to ensure that the importance of agriculture to African economies is not overlooked.

He said this is necessary because agriculture represents more than 70 per cent of employment, while it has become essential to make it deliver on economic development visions for Africa toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Adesina noted that the forum is coming as some African countries are witnessing drought and heightened food insecurity.

He, however, said that the event presented an opportunity to push efforts to make Africa self-sufficient in food production and transform agriculture into a wealth-creating sector.

“Agriculture is booming in Africa and holds the greatest opportunity to boost African economies, build rural economies, lift millions out of poverty and create jobs.

“We must hurry. Africa’s time to become the global powerhouse for food and agriculture is now, we are already late,’’ he said.

Adesina urged AfDB partners, governments, private sector and development institutions to work together to make the revolution a reality.

The sixth African Green Revolution Forum was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in September 2016 and attracted more than 1,500 delegates from 40 countries. (TNE)

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