Mozambique: ADB calls for subsidies for rural workers to buy fertiliser

16 May 2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 16 May – The chairman of the African Development Bank (ADB), Donald Kaberuka, Thursday in Maputo called for the introduction of subsidies for African rural workers to buy fertiliser in order to increase production and thus eradicate hunger.

Speaking at the end of the 43rd annual meeting of the ADB, which was held this week in Maputo, Kaberuka said that distribution of fertilisers “was not enough” for rural workers to leave subsistence farming behind them.

Kaberuka called on the bank’s directors to adopt “flexible policies” in relation to medium income African countries, in which “farmers lose almost 60 percent of crops due to being unable to take them to market.”

“The time has come for African agriculture to become a viable business. Í tis very important for markets to work, because if markets work, both on a national and international level, it will be the start of a solution to the (food crisis) problem,” he said.

One of the recommendations made at the ADB meeting in the Mozambican capital was the need for African states to strengthen their agricultural policies, via restructuring of Agriculture ministries, whilst the bank sets up synergies with other international agencies, namely the World Bank in order to absorb internal shocks in Africa resulting from hunger.

For four days, the directors of the ADB and the African Development Fund discussed several issues such as “Stimulating Shared Growth: Urbanization, Inequality and Poverty in Africa.” (macauhub)