The African Development Bank (AfDB) has rolled out an initiative with 655 actions aimed at producing 513 million tons of additional food and lifting nearly 250 million Africans out of poverty by 2025. At least 25 African countries have so far written to the AfDB stating their interest and readiness to participate in Technology for African Agriculture Transformation (TAAT) to help transform their agriculture.
They declared their interest after the AfDB introduced the new initiative – a knowledge and innovation-based response to the need of scaling up proven technologies across Africa.
The TAAT is expected to support AfDB’s Feed Africa Strategy for Africa, aimed at eliminating the current massive importation of food and transform African economies. It hopes to help diversify the continent’s economies and create wealth with agriculture, as well as using it as a catalyst for creating jobs.
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.
According to the bank’s president Akinwumi Adesina, the initiative was the result of stakeholders engagements to increase the continent’s food production.
“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 Organization 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, ” Adesina said.
“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 added.
He further explained that TAAT would help break down decades of national boundary-focused seed release systems. Seed companies will have regional business investments, not just national ones.
“That will be revolutionary and will open up regional seed industries and markets”, he said.