The Acting Vice-President, Operations, African Development Bank, AfDB, Kapil Kapoor has stated that Africa needs to review its commitment in agriculture.
Kapoor, who said the issue, would be reviewed critically during the forthcoming World Bank Spring meetings panel said, “We need to look afresh at agriculture in Africa as a series of systems and to see it not as a way of life, but a business”.
He said the challenges of food and agriculture are global, disclosing that while two billion people in the world are undernourished, about two billion are obese or overweight, stressing that the world wastes one-third of the food it produces.
Describing it as a paradox, he asked, “why is that a continent with two-thirds of the world’s arable land and plentiful water resources, struggles to feed its own people, so much so, that it imports $35 billion of food a year and creates so little agricultural produce”.
Speaking on behalf of Bank’s Group President, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, he announced imminent unveiling of a continent- wide strategy to ‘Feed Africa’, which would be shared with African and international audiences at the Bank’s Annual meetings in Lusaka from May 23, 2016.
“The strategy is in part the result of new and holistic thinking among our partners in government. Last October, in Dakar, the Bank convened a ‘Feed Africa’ conference, which brought together Ministers of Agriculture, Finance and Health in an almost unprecedented move to see agriculture across all its component parts, at the nexus of health, economic growth, and a sustainable planet.
The goal is nothing, if not ambitious, we believe that by 2025, the continent of Africa can be a net exporter, not an importer of food”, he stated.