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Africa To Receive $30 Billion From AfDB, Other Partners To Transform Agriculture

The African Develop­ment Bank (AfDB) and other partners have budgeted a huge sum of US$30 billion to trans­form agriculture in the continent in the next five years.
Some of the funding will come from other major devel­opment partners, the private sector and some African lead­ers.
Nigeria, the giant of Africa, is expected to be a major bene­ficiary of the agriculture invest­ment funds and may, indeed, get the lion’s share of the budg­et – much of which would be used to empower rural farmers.
The cheering news for Af­rican farmers came to light at a recent Green Revolution Fo­rum tagged “New Push for Africa’s Agricultural Transforma­tion,” which was held recently in Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire. The massive fund is expected to benefit farmers in such a way that Africa’s Agriculture will be strengthened.
An AfDB report which looks at the progress being made to transform agriculture in Sub Sa­hara Africa, focused on why innovation financing is crucial for agricultural transformation, wealth creation and long-term prosperity in Africa.
The report revealed that “de­spite annual public investments in agriculture having risen across Africa, only 13 African countries have honoured their pledge to in­vest at 10 percent of public funds in agriculture as foreseen under the Maputo Declaration of 2003”.
The report said that the funds will support investments to in­crease production and income for smallholder farmers and lo­cal African agriculture business­es over the next decade.
“A session on “Making Polit­ical, Policy and Financial Com­mitments to Africa’s Agricultur­al Transformation“, saw Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyetta, pledge US$200 million to support 150,000 young farmers and agri­cultural entrepreneurs to access market, finance and insurance over the next five years”, it was reported.
The AfDB announced in­vestments of US$24 billion in the coming decade to drive Af­rica’s agricultural Transforma­tion. Chiji Ojukwu, Director of Agriculture and Agro-industries Department, who represented the Bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, at the Forum, said the $24 billion “is a 400% increase in financing to the agricultural sec­tor by the Bank from its current levels of $600 million per year”.
This massive financial sup­port, according to AfDB, “is to support the private sector to un­lock the potential of Africa agri­culture”. Adesina, in his keynote address delivered on September 8, 2016, during a plenary session on the “Role of Policy in Ena­bling Public-Private Partnerships to Achieve African Agricultur­al Transformation”, said “Africa must seize this moment and pri­oritize investments in agricul­ture”, and pointed out that “it is time to support African farmers; African farmers cannot fail”.
The African Agriculture Sta­tus Report 2016, launched at AGRF,  also highlights the “impor­tance of private sector investment in all aspects of agriculture such as inputs, as well as the agricultur­al value chain, including produc­tion, processing, marketing and transport”.
Development partners that pledged to contribute to the transformation of agriculture in Africa include a fertilizer firm, OCP Africa, which committed to invest US $150 million over the next five years “to support local fertilizer distribution, storage and blending’.
The World Food Programme promised to purchase at least US$120 million each year in ag­ricultural products from small­holder farmers through a part­nership called the Patient Procurement Platform.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged USD5 bil­lion, “a portion of which will go towards crop and livestock re­search, strengthening data and improving systems to deliver in­novation and information, and to provide better tools to farmers”.
The Rockefeller Foundation, on its part, pledged to contribute US$180 million towards invest­ments in human resilience to cat­alyze agricultural transformation, while the Kenya Commercial Bank, East Africa’s largest com­mercial bank, will invest US$350 million in loans for smallholder farmers, 50,000 of them women – and 50,000 youths.
Source: Authority

Written by PH

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