Adesina

Continental financial institution, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has said it invested $25 billion in agriculture in the last few years.

President of the Bank, Akinwumi Adesina who disclosed this on Tuesday at a virtual conference to mark the 10th anniversary of Sahel Capital, said by 2030, the billionaires in Africa will come from agriculture.

According to him, “With the size of the food and agriculture market estimated at over $1 trillion by 2030, the millionaires and billionaires of Africa will come from agriculture.”

The AFDB president noted that Africa must capitalize on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, a market with a population of 1.3bn people, by producing more food, doing so more efficiently and sustainably, through agro-industrialization that supports smallholder farmers and the private sector.

He added that the bank is supporting with 16 million euros the Agricultural Company of St. Louis in Senegal to process and market 42,000 metric tons of white rice per year in the local market.

The benefitting countries include Gabon with 10m euros in its oil-palm value chains; 17m euros in Mali for agro-foods; $75m in Sudan for agribusiness.

“In Nigeria, the bank is supporting Indorama Eleme Fertilizers and Chemicals with $210m for the construction and operation of two urea fertilizer plants, with capacity of 2.8m tonnes per annum.

“The bank provided a $300m corporate loan to Dangote Industries, for the establishment of a crude oil refinery and a urea fertilizer plant with 2.8m tonnes per year capacity.”

According to him, these investments will soon turn Nigeria from a net fertilizer importing country to a fertilizer exporting nation.

Adesina also said the youth must be encouraged and supported to move into agriculture as a business to create greater value and wealth for the sector, driven by their innovations and business acumen