“Feed Africa” is a new strategy of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to transform agriculture and scale up agribusiness opportunity throughout 18 key agricultural commodity value chains.

The strategy involves increased crop and animal productivity, value addition, investment in infrastructure, creating an enabling agribusiness environment, catalyzing capital flows, and ensuring inclusivity, sustainability, and nutritional security in a coordinated manner.

Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) supports Feed Africa by providing the needed, proven agricultural and food processing technologies and implementation strategies for inclusion within the Bank’s loans to Regional Member Countries (RMCs). TAAT’s approaches revitalize and transform agriculture while restoring degraded l and and maintaining or strengthening the ecosystems that underpin agriculture, while modernizing and more fully commercializing agriculture. Investments in TAAT will be greatly compounded by much larger loans/ grants awarded to RMCs through Feed Africa, the Bank-financed Country programs, and the World Bank as well as AGRA programs. It has been estimated that overall TAAT will lead to 120 million tons of additional raw food production per year and will contribute to lifting about 40 million people out of poverty.

TAAT is essentially a knowledge- and innovation-based response to the recognized need for scaling up proven technologies across Africa. It is a Regional Technology Delivery Infrastructure (RTDI) made up of CGIAR Centers, National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS), represented by their continental umbrella, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), and subregional organizations (SROs), with an emphasis on agroecological zones and their priority commodities.

The principal implementation units of TAAT are Commodity Technology Delivery Compacts (CTDC), a platform of all actors in the seed, primary production, and primary processing components of agricultural commodity value chains.  The CTDC is a compact between the lead CGIAR centers with m andate for the commodity value chains, NARS with farmer organizations, aggregators, processors, seed companies, fertilizer companies, equipment manufacturers, ministries of agriculture of RMCs, regulatory bodies of agro-inputs, public and private extension entities on crop outreach campaign to reach tens of millions of farmers on the continent in the next 5 to 8 years. Clearinghouse is the decision making body of the RDTI when it comes to selecting which technologies to disseminate and scale up. The objective of the Clearinghouse is to decide which proven agricultural technologies proposed by each Crop/Livestock compact group can be rolled out and taken to scale.

Following an inception meeting at the African Development Bank headquarters in Abidjan, 9-10 January, all implementing institutions were again invited to an inaugural and work planning workshop at IITA HQ, Ibadan on 22-25 January.

Nine value chains (rice, cassava, wheat, sorghum/millet, maize, high iron beans, orange-fleshed sweet potato, small livestock and aquaculture) and six enabler/cross-cutting (policy, capacity building, ENABLE-TAAT, water management, and fall armyworm) compacts were presented based on an exp anded concept note template.

Dr Mpoko Bokanga was selected as the Head of the TAAT Clearinghouse and assumed duty at the IITA Station in Cotonou, Benin Republic, on 1 February.

The recruitment of two critical technical positions (Partnership Engagement Expert and Technology Transfer and Outreach Expert) of the TAAT Clearinghouse has been concluded with the selection of Dr Mary Igbinnosa as the Partnership Engagement Expert and Dr Zefack Tonnang as the Agricultural Technology Transfer and Outreach Expert.

The Protocol of Agreement between IITA and the African Development Fund on the implementation of TAAT was signed on 2 February 2018. This is the effective start-up date for the TAAT Program.