35 African countries, others to partner AfDB on agriculture transformation initiative


 No fewer than 35 African countries are to partner with CGIAR centres in the implementation of the investments in agricultural transformation, an initiative of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB).
A statement  by IITA Communication Officer, Mrs Bola Adewole, said that in furtherance of this objective a project pre-appraisal meeting would hold at the institute in Ibadan from July 18 to July 30.
The statement said the meeting was to brainstorm on the AfDB’s initiative, Feeding Africa or Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) programme.
``To date, about 35 African countries have been identified as potential partners with CGIAR centres in the implementation of the investments in agricultural transformation,” it said
It noted that the TAAT programme was a critical strategy for transforming agriculture on the continent that would ensure that Africa is able to feed itself through agriculture.
``The pre-appraisal meeting is taking place almost three months after the successful preparation workshop of the TAAT programme initiative in April 2016.
“It was attended by various stakeholders and potential partners from National Agricultural Research and Extension Systems (NARES), CGIAR centres, international organisations including developmental partners, and the private sector.
``The appraisal mission will bring together all TAAT participating CGIAR centres, non-CGIAR institutions and NARES partners that have submitted technologies that are ready to be scaled up/out for consideration under the programme.
``They will jointly review and finalize activity plans and budgets to undertake the scaling out of the proven technologies,” it stated.
It further emphasised that the goal of the TAAT Programme includes eliminating extreme poverty, ending hunger and malnutrition, achieving food sufficiency, and turning Africa into a net food exporter.
According to the statement, adopting modernised, commercial agriculture is the key to transforming Africa and the livelihoods of its people, particularly the rural poor.
``To carry out these objectives, AfDB, IITA and other partners, identified eight priority agricultural value chains relating to rice sufficiency, cassava intensification, Sahelian food security.
``Savannas as breadbaskets, restoring tree plantations, expanding horticulture, increasing wheat production, and expanded fish farming.
``This initiative will be led by IITA, and implemented in collaboration with Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), other CGIAR centres, some private partners and national agricultural research systems.
The statement said that the project would involve close partnerships among AfDB, the World Bank, and other major development partners to ensure increased funding for agricultural research and development along the value chains in Africa.
``CGIAR centres, FARA, AVRDC - The World Vegetable Centre, Africa Harvest, and other private partners will provide technical and developmental support for the bank’s quest of widespread agricultural transformation,’’ it said. 

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