AfDB invests $24b in African agriculture to reduce world hunger

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The African Development Bank will be investing $24 billion in the African agriculture sector over the next 10 years to lift one billion people out of hunger globally.

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President, who disclosed this on Wednesday at an agriculture conference at Purdue University, Indianapolis, challenged global partners to join hands to lift one billion people worldwide out of hunger.

The report, which was released to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, described the fund as the largest of such effort ever. The bank’s president stressed that all must come together to fight the war.

He noted that the recent UN agencies’ World Food Security and Nutrition statistics showed a decline in the global population living on less than two dollars per day.

Adesina, however, said that the statistics, in reality, showed that the number of hungry people in the world had increased from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.

The bank leader warned the stakeholders not to get carried away because they were not winning the war against global hunger.

He told the audience including researchers, implementing organisations, business leaders, policymakers and donors that simple technical and scientific methods were already making a difference in farm yields and income in Africa.

“While such technologies to deliver Africa’s green revolution exist, they are mostly just sitting on the shelves.

“The release of water-efficient maize varieties now allows farmers to harvest good yields in the face of moderate drought.

“Today, rice varieties exist that can give yields of 8 tonnes per hectare; cassava varieties exist with yields of up to 80 tonnes per hectare.

“Also, there are heat tolerant and disease resistant livestock and technologies for ramping up aquaculture,’’ he said.

Adesina said what was needed urgently was the deployment of supportive policies to ensure technologies were cascaded down to millions of farmers.

“All Africa needs to do is to harness the available technologies with the right policies and rapidly raise agricultural productivity and incomes for farmers and assure lower food prices for consumers.

(NAN)

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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