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“There’s gold in the dirt” – AfDB Annual Meetings end with call to see the potential of African agriculture


“With 65% of the world’s uncultivated land, Africa will determine the future of food for the world.  There is gold in the dirt, if only we will see it”, said African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina as he spoke to press after the Bank’s Annual Meetings in Ahmedabad.

“I am convinced that we must change the narrative about African agriculture, which will be a US $1 trillion business by 2030.  And the entertainment world agrees with me.  One of the results of this Meeting is that we have collectively seen the need to make dramas – not just documentaries – about agriculture, so as to engage a younger audience,” he said. 

Adesina summarized progress made in the Meetings on the roles of the private sector, young people and women in transforming agriculture to create wealth on the continent.

He discussed the Bank’s support for agricultural research (not least through the newly launched Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation Initiative, TAAT), its support for women farmers, and its commitment to heighten the African presence along the entire length of the agricultural value chain, from farm to fork. 

“That’s why the Bank will be investing US $24 billion in African agriculture in the next 10 years – a 400% increase on its support to date,” he said.  “In Africa, for far too long, farmers have been abandoned.  In India’s Green Revolution, farmers were given bold support – in Africa we must do the same.”

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