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AfDB initiates strategy to attain 513mn tonnes of additional food production

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has developed the technologies for African agricultural transformation (TAAT) initiative, a knowledge and innovation-based response, aiming to meet the need of scaling up proven technologies across Africa

According to AfDB, it will support AfDB’s Feed Africa Strategy for the continent to eliminate food import and transform its economies by targeting agriculture as a major source of economic diversification and wealth.

The initiative is expected to implement 655 carefully considered actions that should result in almost 513mn tonnes of additional food production and lift nearly 250mn Africans out of poverty by 2025.

Around 25 African countries have confirmed their interest and readiness to participate in TAAT, said the AfDB.

TAAT will focus on executing plans for a rapid agricultural transformation across Africa through raising agricultural productivity along eight priority intervention areas (PIAs).

The commodities value chains to benefit from this initiative are rice, cassava, pearl millet, sorghum, groundnut, cowpea, livestock, maize, soya bean, yam, cocoa, coffee, cashew, oil palm, horticulture, beans, wheat and fish.

Akinwumi Adesina, president of AfDB, said, “TAAT was born out of this major consultation and brings together global players in agriculture, the consultative group on International Agricultural Research, the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, World Food Programme, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, Rockefeller Foundation and national and regional agricultural research systems.”

“It’s the biggest consolidation of efforts to accelerate agriculture technology uptake in Africa. Technology will address the variability and the new pests and diseases that will surely arise with climate change,” he explained.

Commenting on the emerging need of technology in agriculture, Agnes Kalibata, president of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), stressed that African governments should drive more technological development to boost up productivity and economy.

“What TAAT is going to have to do is work with the governments. We have lots of institutions that are ready for these technologies. We should work with governments to ensure that the technologies are not just ready to work, but become available to their country people. I think that ensuring that the farmers get all the technologies they need is going to be very important,” she added.