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Adesina: Nigeria increased food production by 21m tonnes in 4 years

Adesina: Nigeria increased food production by 21m tonnes in 4 years
June 14
15:36 2016

Akinwumi Adeisna, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says Nigeria increased food production by 21 million tonnes within four years by taking technology to the farmers.

Speaking at the seventh African agricultural science week and FARA general assembly in Kigali, Rwanda, the former minister of agriculture said Africa must bring technology into farming.

“We must get technologies into the hands of farmers. As late Nobel laureate, Norman Borlaug used to say ‘take it to the farmers,’” Adesina said.

“I know the effects of this very well, as a former Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria. So powerful was the impact of new agricultural technologies, coupled with financing and private sector growth, that Nigeria expanded its national food production by an additional 21 million metric tons within four years.

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“Africa now has several success stories that prove that we can do it. Rwanda has drastically reduced the population that is malnourished. Kenya’s agriculture is pushing the frontiers on horticulture globally.

“Ethiopia’s remarkable growth of its floriculture market foot print globally is an amazing feat. Senegal is well on its way to achieving self-sufficiency in rice. Morocco and Algeria have shown great strides in agricultural value chains exports to Europe.”

He also restated the commitment of AfDB in improving agriculture in Africa, adding that the bank was raising its agriculture funding by 400 percent under his leadership.

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“We must urgently accelerate commercial lending by banks and institutional investors into the agriculture sector. Successful experiences in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Mozambique show that with properly structured risk sharing instruments, commercial banks will lend more to agriculture, with lower risks of loss.

“The ADB will be working with central Banks across Africa to set up risk sharing facilities to help de-risk commercial bank lending to the sector. This will help raise the profitability in the sector and greater private sector investments.

“Africa must feed Africa. And the African Development Bank stands ready to fully support Africa to do so. Africa must develop itself with pride. And there is no pride for Africa without being able to feed itself.

“The African Development Bank plans to invest about $24 billion (or $2.4 billion per year) over ten years to help drive the agricultural transformation of Africa. This is a big deal for the Bank – and a big deal for Africa. It will represent a 400% increase in financing to the agricultural sector by the Bank.”

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