AFRICA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) with support from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has relaunched the Leadership for Agriculture (L4AG) Forum.

The L4AG Forum is a platform that seeks to assist African agriculture ministers and other key stakeholders to promote strong growth in agricultural production and value addition in their countries.

The newly launch, which took place in Accra, Ghana on the margins of the African Green Revolution Forum, entailed a series of presentations and roundtable discussions where participants shared their experiences, challenges, opportunities and lessons learned in implementing programs proven to increase Agriculture productivity.

Ghana’s Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Keynote speaker of the forum stated that the platform was an important tool for the different stakeholders to learn from each other and help move to more dynamic agriculture.

Africa’s agriculture sector and agribusiness is projected to reach US$1 trillion by 2030. Despite this tremendous potential, total investment in the sector falls short of levels required to deliver fundamental change to fuel agricultural transformation.

According to the Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy for Agriculture Transformation in Africa 2016-2025, between US$315-400 billion is required over the next ten years to transform strategic agricultural value chains.

In this regard Dr. Martin Fregene, African Development Bank Director for Agriculture and Agro-Industry highlighted that “Countries spend so much money on food subsidy programs and would like to see better yields. At the end of the day, we would like to have a clear program to address agriculture efficiently and sustainably,”

“Therefore the government should reduce investment risks and improve management of policy environment to ensure that agriculture thrives,” Fregene added.

In support of that, Nick Austin, Director of Agricultural Development with the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said the organization is committed to supporting governments create an enabling environment to develop broad-based agricultural plans, despite the challenges posed by planning and monitoring as reported by biztech.

He said: “The needs and priority of countries can vary but we can learn from one another and avoid mistakes of the past. We need to seek insights, find solutions, understand what works, looking for a module for success and avoid the usual pitfalls.”

The first L4AG Forum was held on 28th November 2017 in Abidjan. Future forums will be tailor-made to directly respond to demand by countries, focusing on what countries are really struggling with to implement effectively and get desired results.