Nigeria’s popular musician, Singer and Song-writer Dapo Oyebanjo, aka D’banj on Wednesday in Addis Ababa launched a song “Do Agric, It pays,“ to urge African leaders to commit 10 per cent of their national budgets to agriculture.
The song was launched as part of a South Africa based Civil Society Organisation “The ONE “campaign effort to urge and encourage political leaders to adopt sound and people friendly policies that would boost agricultural productivity, increase incomes and reduce poverty.
D’banj said at the launch, that there were massive untapped business opportunities in agriculture that could create jobs for millions of Africans on and off the farm.
“I want Africans to know that farming is not only the foundation of the economy, but also that farming is cool. I believe that, if the needed attention is given to agriculture, we Africans will not only feed ourselves, but also the rest of the world”
According to him, while other African leaders have made statements of goodwill, currently only eight countries have kept their promise to invest 10 per cent of their national budgets in agriculture.
The Cote d’ivoire Footballer and Manchester City Midfielder, Yaya Toure was also at the AU summit. He remarked that Agriculture was essential and leaders needed to do more to develop the agric sector. Yaya Toure said “agriculture is not only important, it is also vital. Agriculture pays. “
The launch of `Do Agriculture’ in Addis Ababa was part of the Civil Society effort to push African leaders to increase spending at the 22nd AU Assembly of Heads of State that declared 2014 the Year of Agriculture in Africa.
Speaking at the launch, The ONE Africa Director, Dr Sipho Moyo, said 70 per cent of the estimated 400 million Africans living in extreme poverty in rural areas depended on agriculture.
“Remarkably, the multiplier effect of agricultural growth in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be 11 times greater in reducing poverty than in other non-agriculture sectors, such as utilities and mining.
“So now is the time to get our leaders to commit to a big push toward implementing effective agricultural policies, scale up public investment in agriculture and catalyse private sector participation in agriculture development,“Moyo said.
According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports, the event attracted personalities including Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Beninois President, Dr Thomas Yayi Boni.