As part of its goal to see a generational shift in agriculture on the continent, the African Development Bank has taken its 'Farming is Cool' initiative to school children in Nigeria.
The Bank has also launched a Junior Art Contest in Nigeria to promote the potential of agriculture to secondary school children.
Africa is hoping to feed itself and to eradicate malnutrition by 2025, but the average age of farmers on the continent is currently 60 years.
The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will present prizes to the three winners from the month-long contest at the commissioning of the Nigeria office building on January 18, 2018 in Abuja. The winners will receive partial scholarships of 1,000,000 Naira, 500,000 Naira and 250,000 Naira as first, second and third place prizes, respectively.
"The art competition was conducted to sow a seed of awareness in young minds of the significance and potential of agriculture in the development of a nation's economy. The Farming is Cool campaign strives to flip the script on farming as a last resort by emphasizing and promoting it as a viable wealth-creation option," said Ebrima Faal, Senior Director of the Nigeria Country Department at the African Development Bank. "It targets youth and children to encourage positive thought and action towards an agricultural revolution."
The Bank is accelerating agricultural development through its Feed Africa Strategy with planned investment of US $24 billion over the next 10 years.
The goals of the Bank's Feed Africa strategy are to help eliminate extreme poverty in Africa by 2025; end hunger and malnutrition in Africa by 2025; make Africa a net food exporter; and move Africa to the top of export-orientated global value chains where it has comparative advantage.
Feed Africa includes include agricultural finance models that will benefit youth, as well as other groups; it will rely on the Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy to increase the representation of youth in agriculture and agribusiness and equip them with the necessary skills to be successful.
Nigeria's President, Muhammadu Buhari, will commission the new office complex of the African Development Bank in Abuja on January 18, 2018, consolidating the country's position as the Bank's largest shareholder.