The African Development Bank (AfDB), on Tuesday, unveiled a ten-year strategy that seeks to accelerate agricultural transformation in Africa in a bid to achieve food security, economic growth and job creation.
Gabriel Negatu, the regional director of AfDB, said its implementation will be a game changer in efforts to eradicate hunger, malnutrition and poverty in Africa.
Negatu said the Feed Africa: Strategy for agricultural transformation in Africa 2016-2025 sets a clear road map to achieve food security while boosting rural incomes in the world’s second largest continent.
“Transforming Africa’s agriculture sector is key to achieve economic growth, food security and better incomes for rural communities,” he said, adding that women and youth will reap immensely from the next phase of agrarian revolution in Africa
Implementation of the ten-year strategy to hasten agricultural transformation in Africa will cost an estimated 400 billion U.S. dollars the bulk of which will be mobilized from governments, private sector and multilateral donors.
Negatu said the AfDB board has already endorsed the strategy while sensitization on its contents to national governments has gathered steam.
“There is a strategic value of investing in Africa’s agriculture since it not only contributes immensely to the continent’s economies but has capacity to convert it into an industrial hub,” said Negatu.
The AfDB’s ten-year strategy for agricultural transformation roots for private sector investments, technology adoption, irrigation and streamlining of key value chains to re-invent a sector that is the bedrock of Africa’s economies.
Statistics from AFDB indicate that 60 percent of Africa’s population relies on agriculture for their livelihood.
Negatu said the new ten-year strategy for agricultural transformation in Africa borrows heavily from earlier declarations adopted by the continent’s leaders to modernize the sector and make it competitive.
He added implementation of the strategy will offer lasting solution to challenges blighting agriculture sector in Africa including climate change, dysfunctional value chains, limited access to finance and technology.
“The strategy looks beyond agricultural productivity to focus on creation of well functioning markets for produce. It also looks at ways tominimize post harvest losses,” Negatu said.
AfDB will support member states implement domestic programs that hasten agricultural transformation in line with its new ten year strategy.
Josephine Mwangi, the manager of agriculture and agro-industry department at AfDB Regional Office, said the strategy roots for country led initiatives to re-invent production of key staples like maize, cassava, millet, sorghum and soybean.
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