Adesina says AfDB to invest $24bn in African agriculture
Akinwumi Adesina, president of The African Development Bank (AfDB), has said that the development finance institution is set to invest up to $24 billion in agriculture across Africa within the next 10 years.
Adesina disclosed this at the 50th anniversary celebration of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan on July 17 2017.
According to him, AfDB is committed to turning agriculture into business in Africa, and ensuring food sufficiency for the continent. He added that the Bank had decided to work with IITA to help drive Africa’s agricultural sector transformation and unlock its full potentials.
“At the core of this is getting technologies to millions of farmers and the bank has developed the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) together with IITA and other centres as a technology platform,” Adesina said at the IITA celebration. “This is to help take high yielding technologies to farmers for an African green revolution”
AFDB and the World Bank expect to invest up to $800 million in TAAT which will be launched this year, he said.
Adesina noted that the past 50 years of IITA was full of successes, adding that the institution was run with transparency, honesty and integrity.
The former Nigeria’s agriculture minister said that IITA has contributed so much to agriculture across Africa and Nigeria, having developed several maize varieties that transformed the savanna and humid zones.
“Its cowpea varieties supply the beans on our markets and the soybeans varieties led to the soya beans revolution in Nigeria; its work on cassava and yam still form the core of Nigeria’s cassava and yams value chain transformation,” Adesina said. “IITA’s work on alley-farming has sparked global interest in sustainable agriculture.”
“Its landmark breakthrough on biological control which saved Africa from the devastating cassava mealy bug that had wiped out all its cassava was globally recognised,’’ Adesina said.
Nteranya Sanginga, Director General of IITA, highlighted the successes recorded by the institute in the last 50 years. He appreciated the contributions of Nigeria’s former Presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo Yakubu Gowon to the success recorded by IITA in Nigeria.
Sanging said that the next agenda of the institute is to see that Africa becomes a continent that produces the food it needs.
The director general urged Nigerians to invest in agriculture, pointing out that 99 per cent of funds used in running IITA come from outside the country.
“There will be serious crisis if funds from outside the country stops coming in,” Sangina concluded.
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