The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has addressed technology’s role in developing the continent’s agriculture future.
The President has called for new technologies to be introduced to the industry to transform production and enable Africa to rely less on imports.
The President made the announcement as part of a key note speech at the 2018 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Annual Meeting, which was held in Washington D.C.
“There is no reason why Africa should be spending US$ 35 billion a year importing food,” Adesina stated.
“All it needs to do is to harness the available technologies with the right policies and rapidly raise agricultural productivity and incomes for farmers, and assure lower food prices for consumers.”
“Technologies to achieve Africa’s green revolution exist, but are mostly just sitting on the shelves.”
“The challenge is a lack of supportive policies to ensure that they are scaled up to reach millions of farmers.”
Adesina used Nigeria as an example of how implementing technology had already demonstrated benefits with support from the government.
“All it took was sheer political will, supported by science, technology and pragmatic policies.”
“Just like in the case of rice, the same can be said of a myriad of technologies, including high-yielding water efficient maize, high-yielding cassava varieties, animal and fisheries technologies.”
The bank is currently working with the World Bank, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under the initiative Technologies for African Agriculture Transformation (TAAT) to source US$1bn to be invested in agriculture technologies.