Africa To Spend $110b On Food Imports By 2025 – IITA DG

Africa will spend  $110 billion in  food imports by 2025 because of the neglect of agriculture, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Director-General Dr Nteranya Sanginga has said.

Addressing members of the Board of Trustees of IITA and researchers during the Partnership for Development Week (P4D Week) in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, he said failure to invest in agriculture would compound unemployment among youths.

Sanginga said though some African countries have realised that agriculture is important but were not investing enough in it.

“Take for instance the commitment to invest at least 10 percent of national budgets in agriculture. Not many countries are meeting this goal,”  Sanginga said.

He praised the African Development Bank (AfDB) for coming up with Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) to transform agriculture on the continent.

TAAT  is the  initiative of  AfDB and the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR) under the Feed Africa Initiative to drive agriculture development on the continent.

Through  TAAT,  the bank aims to invest more than $800 million to the agricultural sector. The funds would be channelled into upscaling of proven innovations that will improve the fortunes of farmers and address the twin problem of food insecurity and unemployment.

Sanginga also reiterated IITA’s commitment to supporting African smallholder farmers in the context of agribusiness such that agriculture transcends food for the fork to money in the pocket.

According to him, IITA would continue to respond to the needs of Africa by developing innovations that will provide answers to Africa’s food insecurity. To this end, IITA will be demonstrating its scientific leadership not only in terms of qualitative research in the lab, but also impact in farmers’ fields.

Sanginga, who began his second tenure earlier this year, said IITA’s priority for the future would focus on research, capacity development, partnerships, impact at scale, and most importantly delivery.

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