Agribusiness is the future for Africa – Adesina

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina - AfDB President
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina – AfDB President

Dr.  Akiwumi Ayodeji Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has said Africa’s future depends on agriculture as a business and, therefore, urged African governments to focus on building the agribusiness industry.

He said the three key ways to reign in poverty on the African continent were to ensure inclusive growth; increase education; and ensure productivity in agriculture.

Mr. Adesina made the statements during a panel discussion at the Legon Shared Prosperity Forum held in Accra and moderated by the BBC’s Lerato Mbele.

He explained that it was important to focus on agriculture as a business and not just a development activity.

He stated that Nigeria implemented an agro-business programme under which the mobile phone was used successfully to end corruption in fertiliser distribution, thereby, increasing agricultural production by about 21 metric tonnes in three years.

“Agriculture pays, nobody drinks oil, nobody drinks gas but everybody eats food,” he stated.

Dr. Adesina said agro-industrialisation was the way to go for Africa, explaining that Africa’s continued export of its products in their raw state was not the beneficial.

“Using cocoa exports as an example, he noted that whereas Ghana, Ivory Coast and other African cocoa exporters produced about 70 per cent of the world’s cocoa, they had only about three percent of the chocolate market.

He encouraged African countries to add value to their products and stated that in order to make agriculture attractive to the youth, their negative perception about agriculture must be changed for them to understand its benefits compared to other professions.

“Many rich folks in the United States, the Netherlands and other countries are farmers,” he noted. “In Nigeria, people are leaving banking, medicine, and other fields to go into farming.”

Mr Tony Elumelu, an African entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, also underscored the fact that agriculture was the future for Africa.

He said about 30 per cent of the number of young people selected for the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s Entrepreneurial programme were in the area of agriculture, signifying that young people were increasingly becoming interested in agriculture as a business.

He said industrialisation with a focus on value addition processes would not only help exports but also create employment for the youth on the continent.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.