Food Crisis in Africa: AfDB seeks support from U.S

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The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has sought strong support from the United States for its Emergency Food Production Plan to avert a looming food crisis in Africa.

Dr. Adesina made this call while addressing the U.S Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations on the AfDB’s plan to feed Africa.

The AfDB President said the much needed support would drive structural changes in agriculture to unleash the full potential of African countries becoming a breadbasket to the world.

“I have dedicated my professional life to realizing Africa’s potential through development.

“I have served Africa’s most populous nation as Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister, and I am the President of the African Development Bank Group – Africa’s premier and most trusted development finance institution.

“With an active portfolio of $60.35 billion in more than 140,000 locations, the African Development Bank is Africa’s only AAA rated financial institution.

“Our strategic High 5 priorities are to light up and power Africa, feed Africa, industrialize Africa, integrate Africa, as well as improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

“Today, I would like to focus on feeding Africa and what the African Development Bank is doing to address the global food crisis.

“Africa has an estimated 33 million smallholder farms. They are key to food production and the livelihoods of millions of Africans whose work and lives are linked to the agricultural sector.

“Truth is, with America’s financing, the African Development Bank Group’s actions to boost harvests from Africa’s farms are achieving impressive results. For example, through our Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) program, our support reached 11 million farmers in 28 countries in little over two years.

“The programme is delivering climate-smart seeds, fertilizers and technical support allowing farmers to harvest higher yields of wheat, corn, rice and other staples.

“African food production has increased by more than 12 million metric tons,” Adesina added.

The AfDB Chief, therefore, requested support from the U.S to achieve its goal of feeding the continent, saying the bank was spearheading efforts for African solutions to Africa’s immediate, medium, and long-term challenges.



Africa must prepare for the inevitable global food crisis

Ukraine exports 40% of its wheat and corn to Africa. According to the United Nations, 15 African counties import more than half of their wheat, and much of their fertilizers and oil from Ukraine and Russia.

As the Russia-Ukraine conflict rages, Africa is also dealing with a 30-million metric ton loss of wheat and corn that won’t be coming from Russia.

The cost of bread is now beyond the reach of many Africans.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is a huge factor in fertilizer prices hiking upwards of 300%.

“Our analysis is that Africa faces a fertilizer shortage of 2 million metric tons this year.

“We estimate it will cost about $2 billion dollars – at current market prices – to source new fertilizer to cover the gap.

“If we don’t mitigate this shortage rapidly, food production will decline by at least 20%.

“This horrific ‘perfect storm’ will see Africa lose more than $11 billion in the value of food production, according to our analysis.

“Without urgent and immediate global action, we may witness social and political unrest, as we have seen only too often in the past,” said Dr. Adesina.



Source: AfDB/ Agro Nigeria

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