The 10 year African Development Bank plan to transform Africa’s agricultural sector received endorsement by the Executive Directors of the AFDB in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivor on 22nd May, 2016. The plan titled ‘Feed Africa: A Strategy for Agricultural Transformation in Africa 2016 – 2025’ is the 2nd of the Bank’s High 5 Priorities which includes; Light Up and Power Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa. So why the title Feed Africa?
Agriculture is a major source of food and profit for Africa yet more than 233 million people are under-nourished across the continent and it accounts for a mere quarter of Africa’s gross development product. Rising imports, poor agricultural practices, population growth and ubarnization are a few of the reasons agriculture thrives low with little benefit to the African Continent while cities like Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Malaysia experience increased agricultural productivity.
The Bank’s plan, therefore, aims to end hunger and rural poverty in Africa in the next decade. It’s specific goals are similar to that of the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) of 2014 i.e. contribute to eliminating extreme poverty in Africa by 2025, end hunger and malnutrition in Africa by 2025, make Africa a major food exporter and move Africa to the top of export-orientated global value chains where it has comparative advantage
The Bank’s investment strategy involves identifying a set of agricultural commodities and agro-ecological zones as important areas for investment namely;
- Achieve self-sufficiency in key commodities (rice, wheat, fish, palm oil, horticulture, cassava3);
- Move up the value chain in key export orientated commodities (cocoa, coffee, cotton, cashew,);
- Creating a food secure Sahel (sorghum, millet, cowpea, livestock); and,
- Realizing the potential of the Guinea Savannah (maize, soybean, livestock)
To enable Africa attain these set goals in respect of each commodity and agro-ecological zone, there must be an increase in production, value realisation of such increase in production, increase investment in enabling infrastructure, enabling agri- business environment, catalyse flows of capital, inclusivity, sustainability & effective nutrition and good coordination.