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Agri-tech can turn African Savannah into global food basket – African Development Bank

Agri-tech can turn African Savannah into global food basket – African Development Bank

Des Moines, Iowa, 24 October 2018 – The African Development Bank is championing a new regional and global effort to transform the African Savannah from a “Sleeping Giant” to the cradle of the continent’s green revolution. “This sleeping giant needs to wake up,” the Bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke, told an audience at a 2018 World Food Prize side event in Des Moines, Iowa last week. Blanke described Africa’s nearly 400 million hectares of Savannah zones as “the world’s largest agricultural frontier,” and if a small fraction of that cultivatable land – some 16 million hectares - is transformed, it could well set Africa up to decrease dependence on food imports, feed itself and contribute to feeding the world. Africa is host to 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land, but currently spends an estimated US$35 billion per year on importing food. Th…