The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it plans to spend over $120 million in the next 3 years on cassava amongst other crops to enhance productivity.
The other crops include rice, maize, sorghum/millet, wheat, livestock, aquaculture, high iron beans and orange fleshed sweet potatoes.
This was disclosed by the bank’s Director for Agriculture, Dr. Martin Fregene at the ongoing 4th International Conference on cassava, organized by the Global Cassava Partnerships for the 21st Century, GCP21, in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
Fregene noted that transforming cassava on the African continent would help African nations cut imports and redirect about $1.2billion into African domestic economies.
The AfDB Director stated that the cassava crop had the potential to alleviate food shortage and provide employment whilst attracting the interest of the youths.
“The importance of cassava is in nutrition where cassava can enhance the nutrition of children directly or as feed for poultry and other livestock.” He said
“another dimension to the importance of cassava is in nutrition where cassava can enhance the nutrition of children directly or as feed for poultry and other livestock.” He added
In his remarks, Republic of Benin Minister of Agriculture , Dr. Gaston Dossouhoui, who lauded AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina for his commitment to investing in agriculture and cassava, in particular stressed that cassava presented a medium of cheap nutrition to Africans.
“Addressing the constraints of cassava production in Africa will have a positive impact on African farmers.” He added.
The cassava conference is being attended by more than 450 local and international partners in the cassava sector.