Wednesday, April 24, 2024

AfDB Approves $1.5 Billion to Finance African Emergency Food

The board of directors for the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility (AEFPF), to help African countries avert a looming food crisis due to the disruption of food supplies arising from the Russia-Ukraine war.

The board of directors for the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility (AEFPF), to help African countries avert a looming food crisis due to the disruption of food supplies arising from the Russia-Ukraine war.

This was made known through a statement issued by the bank where the bank disclosed AEFPF is an initiative to support smallholder farmers in filling the food shortfall of about 30 million metric tons, especially wheat, maize, and soybeans that are mostly imported from both countries.

AfDB through AEFPF plans to provide 20 million farmers with certified seeds, fertilizer, post-harvest management, extension services and market growth. The bank targets production of 11 million tons of wheat; 18 million tons of maize; 6 million tons of rice; and 2.5 million tons of soybeans.

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The Facility has a structure for working with multilateral development partners to strengthening national institutions and creates a platform to advocate for critical policy reforms to solve the structural issues that impede farmers from receiving modern inputs.

The president for the bank, Akinwumi Adesina noted that the price of fertilizer has gone up by 300% with a shortage of 2 million metric tons of fertilizer, adding that if this deficit is not made up, food production in Africa will decline by at least 20% and the continent could lose over $11 billion in food production value.

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“Food aid cannot feed Africa. Africa does not need bowls in hand. Africa needs seeds in the ground, and mechanical harvesters to harvest bountiful food produced locally. Africa will feed itself with pride for there is no dignity in begging for food.” Adesina said.

The vice president for Agriculture, Human and Social Development for AfDB, Beth Dunford remarked that the bank builds the initiative on lessons learned from the African Development Bank’s Feed Africa Response to Covid-19 program.

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