AfDB shares its long-term agenda for continental agriculture and agribusiness development at African Green Revolution Forum

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Josephine Kioko admires her pawpaws at the AfDB-funded Kabaa Irrigation project in Mwala, Eastern Kenya. The previously arid area has been transformed into lush green vegetation, thanks to support from the AfDB.

The African Development Bank’s discusses its bold agenda to transform Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness for long-term wealth creation and prosperity this week as it participates in this year’s African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), taking place in Nairobi Kenya.

The September 5-9, 2016 event, under the theme: “Seize the Moment: Securing Africa’s Rise Through Agricultural Transformation”, will see the AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina deliver a keynote address at a plenary on the “Role of Policy in Enabling Public-Private Partnerships to Achieve African Agricultural Transformation”.

The Bank has reiterated the critical role of the private sector in agriculture and agribusiness. As part of its Feed Africa Strategy, the African Development Bank will work with the governments of its Regional Member Countries to facilitate the creation of an enabling environment needed by local and international private sector to make the necessary investments for Africa’s agricultural transformation.

Chiji Ojukwu, the AfDB Director for Agriculture and Agro-Industry will represent President Adesina at a session on “Making Political, Policy and Financial Commitment” to be held on September 7, 2016. Deliberations at the AGRF will also focus on agriculture infrastructure, in which Ojukwu, will deliver a presentation on “Enabling the Adoption of Technology, Infrastructure and Mechanization”. Other highlights at the forum will include the Bank’s ENABLE (Empowering Novel Agri-Business Led Employment) Youth initiative, which seeks to stimulate youth entrepreneurship in agriculture and agri-business. The multi-billion dollar project will see the Bank train the next generation of agriculture entrepreneurs, also referred to as ‘agri-preneurs’ and assist to finance their bankable business plans.

Agriculture is one of the Bank’s five key priority areas, also referred to as the High 5s. By 2015, the Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy will, among other things, see about 320 million additional people enjoying access to adequate calories and nutrients, and up to 130 million people lifted out of poverty (representing 25% of the estimated 550 million currently living below the poverty line). It will also ensure substitution of about US $110 billion worth of Africa’s agricultural imports, and a doubling of the continent’s market value for select processed commodities.

The strategy follows a high-level Ministerial Conference on “Feeding Africa – An Action Plan for Transforming Agriculture in Africa” organized by the Bank in Dakar, Senegal, in October 2015. The meeting mapped out a long-term action plan to unlock Africa’s agricultural and agribusiness potential.

Farmers with their banana harvest at the Kabaa Irrigation Project in Eastern Kenya.