Adesina said this on Thursday during a keynote address at the 94th US department of agriculture outlook forum held in Virginia.
“For too long, Agriculture has been associated with what I call the three Ps – pain, penury, and poverty. The fact though is that agriculture is a huge wealth-creating sector that is primed to unleash new economic opportunities that will lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty,” he said.
Adesina appealed to the American business community to invest massively in Africa’s agricultural sector.
“Think about it, the size of the food and agriculture market in Africa will rise to $1 trillion by 2030. This is the time for US agri-businesses to invest in Africa,” he said.
“And for good reason: Think of a continent where McKinsey projects household consumption is expected to reach nearly $2.1 trillion and business-to-business expenditure will reach $3.5 trillion by 2025. Think of a continent brimming with 840 million youth, the youngest population in the world, by 2050.”
Adesina said the AfDB is spearheading a number of transformative business and agricultural initiatives.
“We are launching the Africa investment forum, as a 100% transactional platform, to leverage global pension funds and other institutional investors to invest in Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa from November 7-9.”
“We must now turn the rural areas from zones of economic misery to zones of economic prosperity. This requires a total transformation of the agriculture sector. At the core of this must be rapid agricultural industrialization. We must not just focus on primary production but on the development of agricultural value chains.
“That way, Africa will turn from being at the bottom to the top of global value chains.”
The World Bank, International Finance Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank, among others, are partnering with the African investment forum to de-risk private sector investments.