AFDB president to start fund for young farmers

Oct 23, 2017

Some financial institutions claim that youth lack viable projects, but also have no security or collateral that they can use for securing a bank loan.

The president of the African Development Bank, Adesina Akinwumi, will use his prize money to start a fund that will lend money to young farmers. This stems from the fact that many young farmers find it hard to access loans.

Some financial institutions claim that youth lack viable projects, but also have no security or collateral that they can use for securing a bank loan.

By donating his prize money to young farmers, Akinwumi has created a difference as far as the lives of young people in agriculture are concerned.

Akinwumi was recently named the World Food Prize Winner by the governor of the State of Iowa (US) Kim Reynolds. The Prize is on behalf of the World Food Prize Foundation.

He was accompanied by Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, and John Mahama, the former President of Ghana and his family members.

Representatives of the Nigerian Government, Purdue University, associates and Bank staff were among the well-wishers who came in out in large numbers to celebrate the African agriculture icon, known as "Africa's Norman Borlaug."

Akinwumi pledged to devote the US $250,000 prize money to a fund in support of young African farmers and agriculture entrepreneurs, or "agripreneurs."

"And so, even though I don't have the cash in my hand, I hereby commit my $250,000 as a cash prize for the World Food Prize award to set up a fund fully dedicated to providing financing for the youth of Africa in agriculture to feed Africa," he said.

"We will arise and feed Africa. The day is coming very soon when all its children will be well-fed, when millions of small-holder farmers will be able to send their kids to school," he added.

The Vice-President of the United States of America, Michael Pence, commended the Laureate in a speech read on his behalf by Mark Green, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

"As our global food system is stretched, and the need to feed more people grows, agricultural transformation will require persistence from leaders like you in driving change and capitalizing on public- and private-sector expertise," Pence said.

The Vice-President described Adesina's devotion to the cause of fighting global hunger as admirable, and deeply needed, and on behalf of President Donald Trump, extended heartfelt congratulations.

"The United States is and remains committed to food security, and we will continue to work with leaders like you to find innovative ways to end global hunger," he said.

Under Adesina's leadership, the AfDB is accelerating agricultural development through its Feed Africa Strategy with planned investment of US $24 billion over the next 10 years.

The World Food Prize also recognizes Adesina's work over the past two decades with the Rockefeller Foundation, at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and as Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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