The President of African Development Bank, Mr. Akinwunmi Adesina said this on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at the ongoing Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, USA.
Adesina said that supportive public policies and vital investments in infrastructure was needed especially for irrigation, roads, storage, warehousing and agro-processing.
Further speaking, he said that AfDB would contribute its quota in strengthening African agricultural research and development systems to play major roles in the transformation processes. This support would ensure that valuable research no longer simplified gathered dust on the shelves of academia.
He stated that AfDB’s Feed Africa strategy had launched the Transformation of the African Savannah Initiatives (TASI) to help unlock the potential of the Savannas of Africa. This initiative according to the president, would begin by bringing approximately two million hectares of savannah in eight African countries – Guinea, Ghana, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya and Mozambique.
According to him, the bank has planned to work with organisations with proven track records in tropical agriculture from South America.
He said that this included the Brazilian Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), the Agricultural Corporation of Brazil (CAMPO), and others with long experience in conservation agriculture.
“Let’s wake up Africa’s savannas and turn them into the new wealth zones of Africa and unleash Africa as a global powerhouse in food. Together let arise and feed Africa.
“Valuable research must meet the needs of farmers and agri-businesses in ways that exponentially increase productivity and improve the quality of lives of our rural poor.
“Africa must learn from the experiences that have worked elsewhere while tailoring the interventions to the specific realities of Africa.
“We must ensure that small, medium scale and large-scale commercial farmers co-exist in a way that allows opportunities for all”, Adesina said.