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Featured image (left to right): FAO director general José Graziano da Silva and African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy yesterday (27 August) (Supplied)

ADB, FAO commit to raise $100m to boost agricultural sector in Africa

The African Development Bank (ADB) and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have pledged to raise $100-million over five years to support joint activities aimed at promoting investment in Africa’s agricultural sector.

This after ADB president Akinwumi Adesina and FAO director general José Graziano da Silva yesterday (27 August) signed an agreement in Rome, Italy.

The agreement will help enhance the quality and impact of investment in food security, nutrition, social protection, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development.

In a statement yesterday, the ADB stated that through the partnership the two organisations “envisage” a collaborative programme that will among other thing see more effective bank-financed investment operations, increased public-private-partnership investments, a better investment climate and portfolio performance, and advocacy and joint resources mobilisation.

FAO’s technical assistance will include scaling up value chain innovations, climate smart agriculture, and youth in agriculture and agribusiness – ADB

The collaborative programme will be created through an initial financial contribution of up to $15-million by the two institutions.

The ADB added that FAO’s technical assistance will cover areas that include: scaling up value chain innovations, youth in agriculture and agribusiness, agricultural statistics, climate smart agriculture, promotion of responsible private investments, resilience and risk management.

Da Siva said leveraging investments in agriculture — including from the private sector — is key to solving hunger and poverty in Africa. He added that this will also ensure that enough rural jobs are created for the continent’s growing population.

Adesina said the signing of the agreement signals the two organisations joint commitment to accelerate the delivery of high quality programmes and increased investment for public-private partnerships in Africa’s agriculture sector.

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

The Bank’s Feed Africa strategy, launched in 2015, aims to invest $24-billion into African agriculture over a 10-year period. This, the ADB states, will 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 million farmers.

Featured image: FAO director general José Graziano da Silva (left) with African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy yesterday (27 August) (Supplied)