African Superstar D'Banj Stands Up For Farmers

In an interesting twist from his usual role as the famed coco-master, king of the dancefloor anthems, D’Banj has taken on a new cause – championing the cause of the African farmer! Yep, you read that right. He’s joined in this venture by renowned footballer Yaya Toure.

It was at a gathering of policy activists, government representatives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that D’Banj made the startling announcement – and the fact that he would also be going into farming, having seen what a cash-cow agriculture could be. 

The ‘coco-master’ made this announcement at a press briefing held by anti-poverty advocacy group, ONE, as they launched “Do Agric, it Pays’ campaign, in tandem with the African Union’s ‘Year of Agriculture’.  
D’banj, an internationally acclaimed Nigerian singer-songwriter, said, 
“Agriculture is no longer a profession for the rural poor – it’s a promising, dynamic career option with vast economic opportunities. I’m grateful that ONE is giving me the chance to tell young people across Africa that agriculture is ‘cool.’”
The African story on agriculture is a sobering one, with a great potential to have a very happy ending. 70% of Africans live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for a livelihood. Reports have demonstrated that investment in agricultural growth in sub-Saharan Africa has a dramatic effect on poverty reduction – as much as 11 times greater than other sectors such as farming. Clearly agriculture is the key to Africa’s economic empowerment and development. 

The background to the campaign is that in 2003, African heads of state signed on to the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security, committing themselves to spending 10% of their budgets on agriculture, in order to reduce poverty and eliminate food insecurity.  Unfortunately, only 8 of those countries have kept to that promise. 

Part of the ‘Do Agric’ campaign’s goal is to remind our African leaders of that promise, and get them to recommit to developing the small African farmer.  Members of the public can join D’Banj in his goal of spreading the gospel about agriculture, and exerting pressure on our leaders to commit to agriculture by signing the petition to African Heads of State on the One.Org website.

Supporting the cause, Yaya Toure comments that; 
“While other African leaders have made statements of good will, only 8 countries have kept their promise to invest 10% of their national budgets in agriculture. It is therefore essential to do more, to go further. Agriculture is not only important, it is also vital. Agriculture pays,”  
The campaign is rooted in the believe that; the key to our own empowerment is literally a seed that can be planted to grow and nurture the entire continent…. Do Agric, It Pays!

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