The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, says the bank has taken its “farming is cool’’ initiative to schools in the country in order to ensure a generational shift in the agriculture sector.
Adesina said this in a statement issued by an AfDB Communication Officer, Mr Emeka Anuforo, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that the bank took the initiative to school children in the country as part of its goal to promote a generational shift in agriculture on the continent.
The AfDB president said that prizes would be presented to the three winners from the month-long contest at the commissioning of the AfDB Nigeria office building on Thursday.
`The winners will receive partial scholarships of N1,000,000, N500,000 Naira and N250,000 as first, second and third place prizes respectively.
“The bank is accelerating agricultural development through its Feed Africa strategy with planned investment of US 24 billion dollars over the next 10 years.
“Africa is hoping to feed itself and to eradicate malnutrition by 2025, but the average age of farmers on the continent is currently 60 years.
“The goals of the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy are to help eliminate extreme poverty and end hunger and malnutrition in Africa by 2025, make Africa a net food exporter and move Africa to the top of export-oriented global value chains where it has comparative advantage,’’ Adesina said.
He said that Feed Africa included agricultural finance models that would benefit youths as well as other groups.
Adesina said that it would rely on the Jobs for Youths in Africa strategy to increase the representation of youths in agriculture and agribusiness and equip them with the necessary skills to be successful.
According to him, the bank has also launched a Junior Art Contest in the country to promote the potential of agriculture to secondary school children.
Adesina also said President Muhammadu Buhari will be commissioning the bank’s new office complex in Abuja to consolidate the country’s position as the bank’s largest shareholder.
The Senior Director, Nigeria Country Department of AfDB, Mr Ebrima Faal, said that the art competition was conducted to sow a seed of awareness in young minds of agriculture’s significance and potential in the nation’s economic development.
Faal said that the “ Farming is Cool’’ campaign strove to flip the script on farming as a last resort by emphasising and promoting it as a viable wealth-creation option.
“It targets youths and children to encourage positive thought and action toward an agricultural revolution,’’ Faal said.