African nations have been urged to preserve their arable lands to promote food security.
Senegalese President Macky Sall was speaking at the recently held food security dialogue.
Sall said African nations must not cede their arable land to third countries or multinationals, but to better value them in order to achieve the continental objective of feeding Africa and end hunger by 2025.
“Africa is yet to appreciate its agricultural potential. We must not give in to the temptation of selling African agricultural land. Rather, we need to work to ensure that Africa feeds Africa and even the rest of the world. Access to credit and finance is essential to achieve this ambition.”Macky Sall, President of Senegal
The dialogue was tagged “Feeding Africa: Leadership to Scale Up Successful Innovations,” was co-hosted by the African Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in partnership with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the CGIAR System Organization.
While 65% of the world’s uncultivated arable land is in Africa, the continent imports nearly US $ 35 billion worth of food each year.
To get out of this paradox and move towards the ambition of seeing Africa feed Africa, more than fifteen Heads of State and Government, heads of multilateral institutions, representatives of regional organizations, Experts from research institutes as well as actors from the private sector and academia participated in this high-level dialogue organized by videoconference.
“Feed Africa” is one of the African Development Bank’s five so-called “High 5” strategic pillars, including the Africa Agricultural Transformation Program (TAAT), which has already lifted nearly 130 million Africans out of poverty.