After the agriculture heyday of 30 years ago, the sector got scant attention, especially from African presidents whose nations were well endowed with natural resources, like oil-rich Nigeria. But many African leaders are returning to a focus on what their nations can grow.
Nigeria, for example, was once a major exporter of groundnuts, or peanuts, cocoa and other crops, and it was “food secure”. It grew all its people needed to eat. But last year Nigeria spent over U.S.$70 billion importing food, including products made from such crops as tomatoes that can grow in abundance in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s agriculture minister, Akinwumi Adesina, whose doctorate from an American university is in agricultural economics, is one of the new leaders determined to reverse that food dependence.
Nigeria, in order to build resilience and tackle food insecurity through raising agricultural productivity and food production, launched the Agricultural Transformation Agenda in 2012. The overall…
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