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You Are Here: » Daily Independent » AfDB To Boost Cassava Production With $120m

Categories : Daily Independent

Date : June 14th, 2018

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Lagos The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said that it would invest $120 million in the sector within the next two to three years to boost the productivity and transform cassava and eight other commodities.

The nine commodities are cassava, rice, maize, sorghum/millet, wheat, livestock, aquaculture, high iron beans and orange-fleshed sweet potatoes.

Dr. Martin Fregene, Director for Agriculture at AfDB, made this known while speaking at the Fourth International Conference on Cassava, organised by the Global Cassava Partnerships for the 21st Century (GCP21) in Cotonou, Republic of Benin.

He said that transforming cassava on the African continent would help African nations to cut imports and redirect about $1.2 billion into African domestic economies.

Fregene stated that the bank’s investment in cassava comes at a time when African governments are scaling up efforts to end food imports and create wealth, adding that cassava was a strategic crop for Africa’s food security and wealth creation for youth, and women.

He added, “Another dimension to the importance of cassava is in nutrition where cassava can enhance the nutrition of children directly or as feed for poultry and other livestock.”

With the largest volume of cassava coming from Africa, cassava supports more than 350 million people in Africa.

Dr. Gaston Dossouhoui, Minister of Agriculture, Republic of Benin, said that cassava remained the cheapest staple consumed by Africans, adding that addressing the constraints of cassava production in Africa would have a positive impact on African farmers.

He lauded Dr. Akin Adesina, the President of  the AfDB, for his commitment to investing in agriculture and cassava, in particular.

The minister also commended the GCP21 for organising the Fourth International Conference on Cassava, emphasising that it would contribute to knowledge sharing that would help in removing the bottlenecks in the cassava sector.

Dr. Kenton Dashiell, Deputy Director General, Partnerships for Delivery at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), said unlocking the potential of cassava required partnerships and close collaboration of partners to address the constraints facing cassava.

Dr. Dashiell commended GCP21 for filling the gaps in cassava R & D by organising a series of conferences with experts sharing knowledge on innovations in cassava.

However, the cassava conference is being attended by more than 450 local and international partners in the cassava sector, coming from research and development organisations, government, farming community, and the private sector.

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), National Institute of Agricultural Research of Benin (INRAB), Faculte des Sciences Agronomique – Universite Abomey-Calavi (FAS-AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research (CORAF/WECARD) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, supports this year’s conference.

Others that supported it are CGIAR Research Programme on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB), International Centre for Agricultural Development (CIRAD), the Institute for Research & Development (IRD), French Embassy in Benin, French Institute, NIRSAL, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Cibus, China’s TAGRM, Inqaba Biotec, PRASAC, Interteck, Building an Economically Sustainable Integrated Cassava Seed System (BASICS), Sino-Food Machinery, OC, NextGen Cassava Project and CTA.

The post AfDB To Boost Cassava Production With $120m appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.

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