Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank, says Africa has the technology and innovation to achieve zero hunger. He said the continent’s food systems had the potential to unleash $1 trillion in value over the next seven years. Dr Adesina, who was speaking at the opening session of the 8th Africa Agribusiness and Science Week (AASW) in Durban, South Africa, said what was needed was action and robust financing. The forum was jointly organised by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the government of South Africa, The African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank and the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research. Other partners include the UN’s IFAD and UNIDO as well as the European Commission. Dr Adesina said: ‘We must pull together the best of science, technology, and innovations to drive a more productive, efficient, and more competitive agricultural system.’ Ms Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, the AUC Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, said the event could not have come at a better time, as the world was in the midst of a hunger pandemic caused by cascading factors, including Covid-19 and climate change. ‘Africa needs to leverage its potential, including science, and be proactive rather than reactive to shocks,’ she said, urging the continent to take advantage of its youthful population and immense natural capital. ‘Let us unlock the potential we have… We should feed Africans and we should feed the world,’ Sacko said. Dr Alioune Fall, the FARA Chairperson, said: ‘Climate change and its effect on the continent requires new ways of doing things in almost all facets of our society.’ ‘Africa’s young farmers would not adopt nature-based approaches unless they are well packaged, affordable and technology-serviced. ‘For that to be achieved, we must strengthen and support the CGIAR with a lot more resources, ensure that it works and delivers for Africa based on our priorities, and support regional research and development institutions, such as FARA and the sub-regional agricultural research organisations,’ he said.
Source: Ghana News Agency