Adesina urges America to support African agriculture as a business
The President, African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has made a strong case for increased American and global investments to help unlock Africa’s agriculture potential.
Adesina, who was the Distinguished Guest Speaker, at the USDA’s 94th Agriculture Outlook Forum, in Virginia, with the theme, The Roots of Prosperity, said: “I do not seek aid for Africa. I seek investments in Africa.”
Adesina continued, “For too long, Agriculture has been associated with what I call the three Ps – pain, penury, and poverty. The fact though is that agriculture is a huge wealth-creating sector that is primed to unleash new economic opportunities that will lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.”
Participants at the Forum included the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue; Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Stephen Censky; President, the World Food Prize Foundation, Kenneth Quinn; Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Robert Johansson; Deputy Chief Economist, Warren Preston; and many top level government officials and private sector operators.
A statement from AFDB, quoted Adesina as appealed to the U.S. private sector to fundamentally change the way it views African agriculture.
“Think about it, the size of the food and agriculture market in Africa will rise to $1trillion by 2030. This is the time for U.S. agri-businesses to invest in Africa,” he said.
‘’And for good reason: Think of a continent where McKinsey projects household consumption is expected to reach nearly $2.1trillion, and business-to-business expenditure will reach $3.5trillion by 2025. Think of a continent brimming with 840 million youth, the youngest population in the world, by 2050.”
The U.S government was also urged to be at the fore of efforts to encourage fertilizer and seed companies, manufacturers of tractors and equipment, irrigation and ICT farm analytics to ramp up investments on the continent.
“As the nation that first inspired me and then welcomed me with open arms, permit me to say that I am here to seek a partnership with America; a genuine partnership to help transform agriculture in Africa. And by so doing, unlock the full potential of agriculture in Africa, unleash the creation of wealth that will lift millions out of poverty in Africa, while creating wealth and jobs back home right here in America,” the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate told the Forum.
Adesina told more than 2,000 delegates that AfDB is spearheading a number of transformative business and agricultural initiatives.
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