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President of African Development Bank (AfDB) and 2017 World Food Prize Laureate, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, says Africa holds the key to eradicating hunger and feeding nine billion people globally by 2050.
At the Norman Borlaug lecture to mark the World Food Day at Iowa State University, Des Moines, Iowa, United States, Adesina called for tax on unused or under-utilised land to encourage commercial agriculture and fast-track the unlocking of Africa’s potential.
In a paper entitled, “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, he said more than ever before, the world must help Africa to rapidly modernise its agriculture.His words: “Africa sits on 65 per cent of the uncultivated arable land in the world. So, what Africa does with agriculture will determine the future of food in the world. African farmers need more than a helping hand. They need a policy lift.”
The former Nigerian minister stressed that addressing global food security was of great concern to the continent, saying about 300 million people were malnourished.The Afdb President paid tribute to Dr. Norman Borlaug, recalling how Africa was the last frontier for the late scholar.