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“Nigerians Have No Reason To Be Hungry” – AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina

Adesina said Nigeria ranks 103rd among 121 countries facing a hunger crisis in the world.

President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina said Nigeria have no reason to be hungry because of the vast land in the country.

"Nigerians Have No Reason To Be Hungry" - AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina

Akinwumi Adesina Speaks On Hunger Crisis In Nigeria

The AfDB president spoke on Monday, October 24, at the launch of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) in Abuja.

According to him, Nigeria occupies the 103rd position among 121 countries classified to be facing a hunger crisis in the world.

Adesina said the hunger in Nigeria cannot be justified because the country is sitting on 34 million hectares of arable land with rich and diverse agroecology.

He described agriculture as being critical for the survival of any nation, adding that the most important role of any nation is to feed its people.

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He said, “Food is a fundamental human right. Africa faces huge challenges in meeting its food needs, with 283 million people that go hungry annually.

“Yet Africa has massive agricultural potential. With 65 per cent of the uncultivated arable land left to feed over 9 billion people in the world by 2050 being in Africa, what Africa does with agriculture will determine the future of food in the world.

“The story is no different in Nigeria, despite positive efforts that have been made to improve the agricultural sector. Food is now beyond the reach of many.”

“According to the Global Hunger Index (2022), released just a week ago, Nigeria ranks 103rd among 121 countries facing hunger crisis in the world.

“Hunger in Nigeria cannot be justified. Nigeria has the land, with 34 million hectares of arable land with rich and diverse agroecology.

“It has the water. It has the labor. It has great sunshine. Nigeria must achieve zero hunger. There is no reason for anyone to go hungry in Nigeria”, he added.

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To help turn this situation around for African countries, Adesina recalled that he prioritized agriculture when he was first elected President of the African Development Bank in 2015.

Since then, he told the gathering that the African Development Bank has committed $25bn to investments in agriculture.

In the past six years, he said the AfDB’s financing for agriculture has provided over 76 million farmers with improved agricultural technologies for food security.

Through its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), he added that the Bank has also provided 12 million farmers with improved climate smart agricultural technologies within three years.

He stated, “The African Development Bank is also supporting Nigeria, through TAAT, to produce more wheat, rice and maize.

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“This support will allow Nigeria to cultivate by next year 900,000 hectares of rice, 250,000 hectares of wheat and 107,000 hectares of maize.

“If Ethiopia can do it, Nigeria can do it. If Sudan can do it, Nigeria can do it. However, to achieve these results, Nigeria must decisively tackle insecurity challenges that prevent farmers from going to their farms.

“The private sector cannot invest when there is insecurity. Food security needs national security. The African Development Bank is strongly supporting Nigeria. We have always done so.”

Adesina put the African Development Bank’s portfolio in Nigeria at $4.6bn, stating that this shows the high priority that the bank accord to Nigeria, across several sectors.

To boost food production in Nigeria, he noted that the bank is already investing $522m, with additional co-financing of $420m from partners.

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For the project, he said the African Development Bank is providing $210m for the development of the SAPZs in Nigeria.

Adesina said, “We are delighted with our partnership with the Islamic Development Bank which is co-financing with $150 million, and with the International Fund for Agricultural Development which is co-financing with $160 million.

“The SAPZ program in Nigeria is the largest in Africa. The commitment of the Minister of Agriculture is strong. The commitment by the Minister of Finance is strong.

“The commitment by the State Governors is very strong. The SAPZs in Nigeria are being developed closely with the State Governments.”

KanyiDaily recalls that Akinwumi Adesina had said that Nigeria should be restructured so that each state would control its resources and pay federal taxes or royalties for those resources.

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