IITA/AfDB launches plan to revolutionize African agriculture
Scientists, development specialists, agricultural experts, representatives from national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES), and entrepreneurs from the private sector mainly from Africa will assemble in IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria on 22-25 January, for the inauguration and planning workshop of the long-awaited African Development Bank (AFDB)-funded program called Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT).
The multi-year, multi-partner TAAT program was conceptualized based on “Africa Feeding Africa,” a core priority of AfDB and aligned with the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy (2013- 2022) for inclusive and green growth in the continent. The program, aimed to revitalize African agriculture, was conceived in a high-level conference on African agricultural transformation attended by leading experts in agriculture, research institutions, academia, financial institutions and civil society held in Dakar, Senegal, in 2015.
According to Dr Jonas Chianu, AfDB Agricultural Economist and TAAT program manager, “TAAT heralds a new dawn in African agricultural transformation because of its key benefits.” TAAT will lead to:
Increased agricultural productivity and diversification, leading to improved food and nutrition security, Improved socioeconomic status of farmers including women and youth due to higher incomes, Reduced vulnerabilities to market fluctuation due to agricultural product imports, and Job creation, among others.
TAAT will execute an ambitious and bold plan to achieve rapid agricultural transformation across Africa by raising agricultural productivity along nine Priority Intervention Areas (PIA) and over 18 agricultural commodity value chains.
The execution of TAAT will involve a close partnership among the AfDB, World Bank, and development partners to ensure increased financing for agricultural research and development along the value chains. FARA, the CGIAR System Organization, and 11 of it’s 15 international agricultural research centers most active in Africa, have embraced the Bank’s initiative and are co-sponsoring the program to revitalize and transform agriculture within the shortest possible time while restoring degraded land and maintaining or strengthening the ecosystems that underpin agriculture.