African countries have been urged to transform agriculture so that they can better feed themselves and develop.
The Africa Development Bank noted this during the Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors that took place in Ahmedabad, India.
AFDB added that there is need to forge greater cooperation between the bank and India which is expected to spur Africa’s transformation.
The meeting under the theme, “Transforming Agriculture for Wealth creation in Africa,” will also encourage the youth to engage in agriculture as a business for real transformation.
AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina said,“To develop with pride, Africa must feed itself”.
The bank’s president made it clear that over the next decade between now and 2025, Africa could be delayed in development if the food imports bill increases near triple to reach $110 billion per year.
Agriculture investments are expected to grow the African economies by 10-20 per cent.
At the same meeting where ministers from different African countries are deliberating on the possibilities of agriculture transformation for development, Rwandan Finance and Economic Planning minister, Amb. Claver Gatete, called for partnerships and innovation in agriculture for the sector to meet expectations.
“Public and private investments in agriculture can speed up poverty reduction. In Rwanda, agriculture contributes to more than 30 per cent of GDP,” Gatete said.
In 2015, the agriculture sector employs nearly 70% of the Rwandan labourers, generates 60% of the foreign exchange, provides 75% of raw materials for industry, and about 45% of total Government revenue.
Adesina noted increasing food prices and cost of imports affect the stability of local currencies.
The AfDB is planning to spend about $2.4 billion every year for 10 years to irrigation infrastructure, build roads, storage facilities and attract effectively transforming investors.