Key stakeholders in Africa’s agricultural sector today identified partnerships for sustainable agricultural technology delivery as a critical factor in Africa’s quest to feed Africa.
This came out strongly at a breakfast session that heralded the presidential summit of the 2018 African Agricultural Revolution Forum (AGRF) which ended on Saturday, September 8, 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city.
Organised by the ClearingHouse of the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), an initiative of the African Development Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy that aims to achieve major agricultural transformation in Africa, the session had in attendance, African agriculture ministers, scientists, representatives of multilateral development banks, donor partners and the private sector.
Mpoko Bokanga, Head of the TAAT ClearingHouse, in his opening statements traced the programme’s history to the October 2015 Dakar High Level Conference on Africa Agricultural Transformation Agenda which led to the adoption of four goals and 18 action points to transform African agriculture.
With a focused approach on integrated development of agricultural value chains, Dr. Bokanga highlighted the main objective of TAAT which is to “take proven agricultural technologies to scale in a commercially sustainable fashion through the establishment of a mechanism to facilitate partnerships.”
“These partnerships will not only provide access to expertise required to design, implement and monitor the progress of crop, animal and aquaculture, they will also contribute to ending extreme poverty by eliminating hunger and malnutrition; and making Africa a net exporter of agricultural commodities,” Dr. Bokanga said.
Innovative approach in partnerships
TAAT, according to Dr. Bokanga, isn’t an addition to Africa’s long list of agricultural initiatives but an innovative programme that serves as a clearing house for sustainable agricultural technology delivery.
Through its components, the programme will promote an enabling environment for technology adoption; establish a regional technology delivery infrastructure to accelerate delivery; and raise Africa’s agricultural productivity by deploying proven agricultural technologies at the agro-ecological and country levels in strengthened agricultural value chains.
The Togolese Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Ouro-Koura Agadazi, was full of praises for the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for this well-thought-out programme, which according to him, “carries the prospects of transforming Africa’s agricultural landscape.”
“Togo has benefitted from several of IITA path-breaking agricultural solutions and it is our hope that TAAT will not be any different,” Agadazi added.
Joseph Mwanamvekha, Malawian Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, commended the partnership between IITA as the executing agency and the over 10 research institutes and centres driving the implement of the TAAT programme.
Also underscoring the imperatives of partnerships for sustainable agricultural technology at the breakfast session were representatives of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the IITA.
Technologies for Africa
Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) is a knowledge and innovation-based response to the recognised need to scaling up proven technologies across Africa.
Already being implemented in 31 low income Regional Member Countries of the AfDB, TAAT supports AfDB’s Feed Africa Strategy for the continent to eliminate the current massive importation of food and transform its economies by targeting agriculture as a major source of economic diversification and wealth, as well as a powerful engine for job creation.
The initiative will implement 655 carefully considered actions that should result in almost 513 million tons of additional food production and lift nearly 250 million Africans out of poverty by 2025.