The African Development Bank (AfDB) has developed a new initiative called the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) initiative – a knowledge and innovation-based response to the recognized need of scaling up proven technologies across Africa.
Already, 25 African countries have written letters to the AfDB confirming their interest and readiness to participate in TAAT, and help transform their agriculture.
It will support 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.
TAAT will execute bold plans to contribute to a rapid agricultural transformation across Africa through raising agricultural productivity along eight Priority Intervention Areas (PIAs).
The commodities value chains to benefit from this initiative are rice, cassava, pearl millet, sorghum, groundnut, cowpea, livestock, maize, soya bean, yam, cocoa, coffee, cashew, oil palm, horticulture, beans, wheat and fish.
In a statement, AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, at a TAAT side event at the 2017 World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa said, “TAAT was born out of this major consultation and brings together global players in agriculture, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, World Food Programme, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, Rockefeller Foundation and national and regional agricultural research systems.
“It’s the biggest consolidation of efforts to accelerate agriculture technology uptake in Africa. Technology will address the variability and the new pests and diseases that will surely arise with climate change,” he said.
Adesina explained that TAAT would help break down decades of national boundary-focused seed release systems. Seed companies will have regional business investments, not just national ones, he said. “That will be revolutionary and will open up regional seed industries and markets.”