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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Communications and Partnerships Unit
+254 20 4223700
Nairobi, Friday, 20 May 2016: A team from the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) paid a courtesy call on Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on 25 April.
The AATF team, led by Dr. Ousmane Badiane, Board Chair, included Dr. Denis Kyetere, Executive Director, Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin, Technical Operation Director and Mr. John Makokha, Resource Mobilization Officer.
The AATF team congratulated Dr. Adesina for initiating the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) program, a critical strategy of AfDB to transform Africa’s agriculture and ensure that the continent is self-sufficient in food production. TAAT, which was established in 2015 after Dr. Adesina took over as the President of AfDB, aims at eliminating extreme poverty, ending hunger and malnutrition, achieving food sufficiency, and turning Africa into a net food exporter as well as setting Africa in step with global commodity and agricultural value chains.
The Program, to be jointly implemented by the CGIAR system in collaboration with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa and other agricultural research and development organisations in Africa has eight priority agricultural value chain areas: rice sufficiency, cassava intensification, Sahelian food security, savannas as breadbaskets, restoring tree plantations, expanding horticulture, increasing wheat production, and expanded fish farming.
‘TAAT is about right technologies getting into the hands of farmers. AATF’s products fit very well into the TAAT priority areas. Inclusion of AATF technologies in TAAT presents us with a large array of technologies for farmers to choose from. It is therefore important that AATF with its wealth of experience and ready technologies becomes an implementing partner in TAAT,’ stated Dr. Adesina.
During the meeting, Dr. Kyetere shared with the AfDB team AATF’s approach and experience with public-private partnerships, accessing technology solutions for smallholder farmers, and enhancing productivity as well as agri-business opportunities for wealth creation.
‘We have ready to roll technologies that are already creating impact among rural farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and that resonate well with TAAT’s priorities. We are happy to participate in this great initiative towards a food secure Africa,’ said Dr. Kyetere.
He highlighted some AATF initiatives that could add value to TAAT’s goals such as the Cassava Mechanisation and Agri-Business Project that has increased cassava yields from 9 to 25 tonnes per ha and farmer incomes from US$62 to US$92 per tonne through production efficiency and reduction of labour drudgery especially for women; DroughtTego maize, a product of the Water Efficient Maize for Africa Project that is helping farmers deal with climate change challenges, StrigAway technology that is already changing the lives of smallholders in Striga-endemic areas in East Africa and Hybrid rice that aims at achieving self-sufficiency in rice production in the region and currently showing potential to yield up to 7 tonnes per hectare.
Other technologies and initiatives that AATF is involved with and that have potential to change farmers’ livelihoods and help TAAT realise the goal of turning African Savannas into bread baskets include the Pod Borer Resistant Cowpea, Bt maize and the Seeds2B initiative that is about getting the right seed to market at the right time and right price.
The AATF team also met with Dr. Chiji Ojukwu, the Director Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department (OSAN) at AfDB, Ben Kanu and Dr Jonas Chianu, the TAAT Task Team Lead. Dr. Ojukwu reiterated AfDB’s commitment to work with all relevant institutions including AATF to make TAAT a success in delivering technologies for agricultural transformation in Africa.
About AATF (www.aatf-africa.org)
AATF is a not-for-profit organisation established to access, develop, adapt and deliver appropriate agricultural technologies for sustainable use by smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa through innovative partnerships and effective stewardship along the entire value chain. AATF provides expertise and know-how that facilitates the identification, access, development, delivery and utilisation of appropriate agricultural technologies. AATF works towards food security and poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa, and its structure and operations draw upon the best practices and resources of both the public and private sectors. AATF is a registered charity under the laws of England and Wales and has been given a tax-exempt status in the USA. It is incorporated in Kenya and in the UK and has been granted host country status by the Government of Kenya where it is headquartered and is registered as a charity in Nigeria.