African Development Bank team up to boost agriculture sector

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Rome, Aug 28 (IANS/AKI) The African Development Bank (AfDB) and FAO have agreed to raise up to $100 million over five years to support partnerships to catalyse agricultural investment in Africa, end hunger and malnutrition and lift millions from poverty across the continent.

“FAO and the AfDB are deepening and broadening our partnership to assist African countries achieve the sustainable development goals,” said FAO director-general Jose Graziano da Silva in Rome, where he and AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina signed the joint accord.

“Leveraging investments in agriculture, including from the private sector, is key to lift millions of people from hunger and poverty in Africa and to ensure that enough food is produced and that enough rural jobs are created for the continent’s growing population,” he said.

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The new strategic alliance seeks to enhance the quality and impact of investment in food security, nutrition, social protection, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development, FAO said in a statement.

Adesina called the agreement a “milestone moment” in relations between the AfDB and FAO that would help achieve the goal of making Africa a business.

“The signing of this supplementary agreement is a milestone moment in the relationship between the African Development Bank and FAO. It signals our joint commitment to accelerate the delivery of high quality programs and increased investment for public-private-partnerships in Africa’s agriculture sector,” Adesina stated.

“This will help us achieve the vision of making agriculture a business, as enshrined in the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy.”

The AfDB’s Feed Africa strategy, launched in 2015, aims to invest $24 billion into African agriculture over a 10-year period.

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Its goal is to improve agricultural policies, markets, infrastructure and institutions to ensure that agricultural value chains are well developed and that improved technologies are made available to reach several millions farmers, according to FAO.

–IANS/AKI

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