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Global: U.S.,AfDB Strengthen Partnership for Increased Food Production

United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has praised the African Development Bank Group for its outstanding efforts in supporting Africa’s efforts to achieve food security, benefiting both the continent and the global community.

“Extraordinary work is being done to get to a place where Africa feeds itself and a place where Africa feeds the world. I’m convinced that can happen,” Secretary of State Blinken said during a visit hosted by AfDB Group President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina in Abidjan on Tuesday. The two met at the headquarters of AfricaRice—a pan-African centre of excellence for rice research, development, and capacity building that implements Bank agricultural programmes.

Welcoming Secretary Blinken, President Adesina said, “This is the first time that a US Secretary of State would visit the African Development Bank and its work. Secretary Blinken’s visit is historic and provides great momentum for our work to feed Africa. I applaud Secretary Blinken’s strong leadership and commitment to food security and look forward to working closely with him and the US government to advance our joint efforts to support Africa to feed itself and help feed the world.”

Thanking the US for its support to the Bank Group’s key agricultural initiatives, Dr. Adesina said: “I applaud the work President Biden is doing for global food security. I’m delighted with the partnership we have with the US Government to help us move forward on food security in Africa.”

Adesina expressed gratitude to Secretary of State Antony Blinken for a new $9.5 million grant supporting the African Development Bank’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation initiative (TAAT). This grant, a part of the larger U.S. Government “Feed the Future” global hunger initiative, will be utilized for TAAT II, the second phase of the program. TAAT has already provided climate-resilient agricultural technologies and fertilizers to 13 million African farmers in 40 countries, enhancing food production and security. The USAID grant will further extend the impact of TAAT II, contributing to increased food production and the adoption of climate-smart technologies.

The United States has expressed its commitment to collaborating with the African Development Bank to explore partnership opportunities with the US State Department’s Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (VACS) activities. The aim is to jointly formulate an investment strategy to advance shared objectives in agricultural development.

The Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) initiative has set the ambitious goal of doubling the productivity of staple crops, livestock, and fisheries. The plan is to provide proven technologies to over 40 million agricultural producers by 2025, resulting in an additional 120 million tons of food production.

Alluding to that work, Blinken said: “The African Development Bank is making the necessary investments in sustainable production in a smart effective way and along with its AfricaRice programme maximising crops and producing crops that can stand up to climate change.”

Commending Adesina for his global leadership, Secretary Blinken said, “I applaud the Bank and your leadership for the powerful and inspiring impact of your initiatives. You are setting an example for others about how a bank is run.”

source: guardian.ng

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