The African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Wednesday in Abuja that it had earmarked $2 billion for the development of agriculture in Africa in the next five years.
The President of AfDB, Donald Kaberuka made the disclosureÂ in Abuja at the close of the three-day High Conference on Agric-business and Agro-industries in Africa.
Dr. Aly Abou-Sabaa, AfDBâ€™s Director of Agriculture and Agro-industry department, represented the President on the occasion. Kaberuka said the money would be given out as credits to countries to boost agricultural infrastructure, with emphasis on water mobilisation and rural infrastructure. He explained that AfDB had equally instituted a Bank Agriculture Sector Study as part of its medium-term strategy for ensuring the growth of agriculture.
â€œInvestment in agriculture must goÂ beyond farming to include agric business,â€ he said. According to him, AfDB will work with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Bank, African Union, Economic Commission for Africa and Food and Agriculture Organisation, to realise the goals of the medium-term targets.
He said AfDB had endorsed the initiative to prop the agric business and agro industry in Africa, through the 3ADI programme, which was the focus of the conference. In his remarks, the President of IFAD, Dr Kanayo Nwanze, said 44 per cent of its investment in agriculture over the years was in Africa.
He explained that about $5 billion had been invested in agriculture in Africa, resulting in the employment of more than six million people on the continent.
Nwanze said $700 million was also invested in nine projects in Nigeria, while $90 million would be made available to the sector in the next five years. Dr Kande Yumkella, the Director General, UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), said more than 40 banks in Nigeria participated in the financial mechanism workshop held on the sideline of the conference.