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Africa spends $20bn yearly to import food — Sanusi

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA—GOVERNOR, Central Bank of Nigeria , CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi disclosed yesterday that the total projected demand for agri-business financing required in Africa from now till 2050 stands at $620.4 billion, just as the annual demand is put at $6.5 billion.

According to him, funding globally from various sources had been declining over the years, just as he said Official Development Assistant, ODA, to sub Sahara Africa’s agriculture dropped from $1.450billion in 1998 to $713million in 2002.

Sanusi who noted that Africa’s food import bills stand between US$2billion and 20 billion per annum in addition to the continent’s US$2billion annual food aid, stressed that these huge financial resources being expended could be used internally to develop Africa’s agricultural potential.

Speaking yesterday at the ongoing a three-day conference on the development of Agri-Business and Agro-Industries in Africa in Abuja, warned that if the continent fails to address the problem associated with agriculture, there could be impending food crisis in the African continent.

The Apex Bank boss who noted that the proportion of people living below the poverty line of less than US$1 a day increased from 47. 6 per cent in 1985 to 59 per cent in 2000 and still growing, stressed that a large proportion of people in Africa had limited access to food, clothing and shelter, adding that more than 200million people, particularly women and children were still undernourished.


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