Africa Can Feed itself and the World. Why is it Not?
“Agriculture, across Africa, must now be taken as a business – to generate wealth and rapidly diversify our economies – not for managing poverty,” AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina said.
Agriculture is the answer to Africa’s development and has the potential to grow the region faster, feed itself, eliminate hunger and food insecurity as well as feed the rest of the world.
This potential according to New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) lies in its land, water, oceans and the labor force on the continent.
However, the opposite is happening. Agriculture in Africa is not growing as fast as it is widely expected despite the fact that Africa has world’s’ largest arable land.
Making his presentation at the Africa 2016: Business for Egypt, Africa, and World Conference, in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, on February 21, the African Development Bank Group President, Akinwumi Adesina supported the notion that Africa has more than 60% of all arable land left in the world to feed 9 billion people by 2050.
He was speaking of the five strategic goals that the bank is working on with an aim to accelerate development in Africa. One of the strategies being “Feed Africa”, which is part of AfDB’s High 5s for Africa.
“There is absolutely no reason why Africa is a net food-importing region, spending over $35 billion importing food. Africa must feed itself – and Africa must become a global powerhouse in food and agriculture,” said adding that the Bank will accelerate support for massive agricultural transformation across Africa – while building resilience to climate change – to fully unlock the potential of agriculture, to lower food prices, save scarce foreign exchange, increase foreign exchange earnings, strengthen macroeconomic and fiscal stability, revive rural areas – and in particular, create jobs for hundreds of millions of Africans. We must change our approach to agriculture.
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