22 May 2016. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.  The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank

Group (AfDB) has approved an agricultural transformation strategy for a competitive and inclusive agribusiness sector that creates wealth, improves lives and secures the environment. The document was widely reviewed by global stakeholders, peer institutions and partners as well as through regional consultations held in Rabat, Kinshasa, Lusaka, Dar es Salaam and Accra.

Focusing on transformation, scaling up agriculture as a business through value addition, led by the private sector and enabled by the public sector, and using innovative financing mechanisms, the strategy aims to end hunger and rural poverty in Africa in the next decade.

It is the second of the Bank’s High 5 priorities – Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa – a blueprint for the implementation of its Ten Year Strategy 2013-2022.

Realizing the objectives of the strategy would involve increased productivity; value addition; investment in infrastructure; creating an enabling agribusiness environment; catalyzing capital flows; ensuring inclusivity, sustainability and effective nutrition; all in a coordinated manner.

  • The idea is to drive transformation through 15 priority commodity value chains in given agro-ecological zones specifically to achieve self-sufficiency in key commodities such as rice, wheat, fish, palm oil, horticulture, cassava; move up the value chain in key export-oriented commodities like cocoa, coffee, cotton, cashew; create a food-secure Sahel in sorghum, millet, livestock; and realize the potential of the Guinea savannah in maize, soybean and livestock.
  • The Feed Africa Strategy makes a strong case for reversing the situation of a continent that spends US $35.4 billion on food imports annually despite being home to 65% of the world’s undeveloped arable land.
  • The total investment for the realization of the transformation agenda over 10 years is estimated at US $315-400 billion with annual returns of US $85 billion, when fully funded.
  • The Bank will itself invest US $24 billion and leverage additional investments through equity, quasi equity, debt and risk instruments to catalyze investments at scale from the private sector and with co-financing from traditional donors and new players.
  • The identified financing gap estimated at US $23 billion can be met using innovative de-risking tools and blended financing from combined sovereign, pension and private equity funds.

This post was originally published at PAEPARD and has been republished with permission.

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