“AFRICA NEEDS COMPREHENSIVE AGRIC POLICY TO ERADICATE HUNGER AND POVERTY”

Abdoulai G. Dibba

Abdoulaye Toure, the lead economist of  the World Bank and the Regional Coordinator of the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Project (WAAPP), said Africa needs to change its agricultural policy, developed a comprehensive policy to free Africa from hunger and poverty.

Mr. Toure made this assertion during an interview with this reporter at his office in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on Wednesday, 15 June 2016.

According to the World Bank lead economist and WAAPP Regional Coordinator, the Agricultural policy that can free Africa from hunger and poverty is the one that focuses on the development of all the components of the agriculture value chain.

“In that I mean a policy that empowers the farmers, the traders, the transporters, the processors and the marketers; a comprehensive Agricultural policy that addresses the concerns of all the stakeholders in the food value chain,” said Mr Toure.

He noted that the problem of African countries is that their agricultural policies are not supportive of food crops as there are few investments on food crops in their national budgets.

“To free Africa from poverty and food insecurity, I believe the agricultural policy should focus on boosting productivity not as an end in itself but as a means of supplying the processing plants the needed raw materials and then create a conducive market for the processed food,” said the World Bank economist and WAAPP Coordinator.

In order to create a conducive market for the processed food, he said Africa must start by harnessing their potential. “I mean with creation of integrated regional and continental markets, the un-marketability of African products will be history,” empahsised Mr. Toure.