Africa cannot feed itself. That has been the embarrassing reality for a long time now.

To survive, the continent depends on food import which consumes a huge chunk of their foreign exchange earnings, about 35 billion dollars annually.

This is what the President of the African Development Bank Group, AfDB Akinwumi Adesina, wants to change.

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Adesina was addressing an agriculture conference in the US on Sunday and he made an urgent call to give farmers across the continent new technologies with the potential to transform agricultural production.

He said the technology transfer was needed immediately and that evidence from countries like Nigeria demonstrated that technology plus strong government backing was already yielding positive results.

“Technologies to achieve Africa’s green revolution exist but are mostly just sitting on the shelves. The challenge is a lack of supportive policies to ensure that they are scaled up to reach millions of farmers,” Adesina said.

Adesina cited the case of Nigeria, where policy under the country’s Minister of Agriculture, had resulted in a rice production revolution in three years.

“All it took was sheer political will, supported by science, technology and pragmatic policies...Just like in the case of rice, the same can be said of a myriad of technologies, including high-yielding water efficient maize, high-yielding cassava varieties, animal and fisheries technologies,” Adesina said.

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