'Agriculture is a not a development activity, it's a business'

Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s minister of agriculture, told Devex Impact it is “too early to talk about results” from the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.

He praised the effort, however, as a positive step toward removing agriculture from the “development mindset.” Nigeria joined Ghana, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Tanzania when it became a partner to the New Alliance in June of this year.

“Agriculture a sector where we should be creating a lot of wealth, not managing poverty,” said Adesina, during a recent visit to Washington D.C., where he addressed the World Cocoa Foundation’s semi-annual partnership meeting.

Adesina also responded to critics who have charged that multinationals are not well-suited to work directly with smallholder farmers through the New Alliance.

“Africa should not be afraid of growth,” he said. “In Nigeria, we welcome large players, but we’re going to manage the investment in such a way that it benefits the smallholder farmers.”

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About the author

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    Andrea Useem

    As Associate Editor and Content Director for Devex Impact, Andrea creates and manages cutting-edge content on the intersection of business and international development. An experienced multimedia journalist, Andrea served as leadership editor at the Washington Post and spent three years as a foreign correspondent in Eastern Africa reporting for publications including the Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, and San Francisco Chronicle.