Feeding Africa: AfDB holds planning meeting with Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research

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The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) hosted a planning meeting with a delegation from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) on January 21 and 22, 2016 in Abidjan.

The meeting was a follow-up to the AfDB’s High Level Conference on African Agricultural Transformation, which called for the continent to “execute a bold plan to achieve rapid agricultural transformation across Africa through raising agricultural productivity.”[1]

Raising agricultural productivity depends on a number of factors, but the most critical one is new knowledge and technology generated from research. The Bank plans to partner with the CGIAR and FARA to revitalize and transform agriculture with the goal of Feeding Africa within the shortest possible time.

AfDB Vice-President, Sector Operations, Aly Abou-Sabaa, opened the meeting and underscored its relevance. The Bank’s Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department, Chiji Ojukwu who chaired the discussions, pointed out that numerous studies have shown that GDP growth generated by agriculture can be up to four times more effective in reducing poverty than growth generated by other sectors. He also observed that the Asian Green Revolution saw increases in agricultural productivity resulting from the widespread adoption of new, high-yielding rice and wheat varieties, together with the increased use of fertilizers, irrigation and other inputs. It is time for Africa’s own “Green Revolution”, he said.

The CGIAR delegation was led by Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nteranya Sanginga, and included the Director Generals of Africa-Rice, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and Africa Harvest. These institutions were representing CGIAR, which includes a global network of 15 international agricultural research centres and has more than 8,000 world-class scientists and staff operating in over 100 countries. The meeting was also attended by the consulting firm Dalberg Global Development Advisor, which has been contracted by the Bank to develop the African Agricultural Transformation Strategy. The meeting was also attended by staff from across various Bank complexes. 


[1] Feeding Africa - An Action Plan for Transforming Agriculture in Africa