The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) will commit US$10bn to boost agriculture in Africa as it lays the foundation to turn the continent into the breadbasket of the world.
“The African Development Bank will commit US$10bn in the next five years, with approval from our Board, in direct support for the Food and Agriculture Delivery Compacts,” AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina said on Wednesday.
Africa currently imports over 100 million metric tons of food, valued at US$75bn and it is estimated that over 280m African go to bed hungry every day
“This is not acceptable. No mother should ever have to struggle with rumbling of the stomach of a hungry child,” Adesina said at the Feed Africa Summit, currently underway in Dakar, Senegal.
“Africa can and must feed itself. With 65% of the uncultivated arable land left in the world being in Africa, what Africa does with agriculture will determine the future of food in the world.”
His call comes as the continent has been hit by food shortages due to supply constraints caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.
As a stop gap measure, AfDB launched the US$1.5bn Africa Emergency Food Production Facility. The facility approved operations for 34 countries within eight weeks.
The facility is supporting 20 million farmers in Africa to produce 38 million metric tons of food worth US$12bn. The effort complements global initiatives from the G7, Europe and other development partners.
“Now, we must move from short term to longer-term efforts to bolster food production in Africa, reduce malnutrition, and secure Africa’s food supplies. It is time for Africa to feed Africa,” Adesina said.
Over 30 heads of state, 70 government ministers, the private sector, farmers, development partners, and corporate executives are attending the Feed Africa Summit which ends Friday.
The summit is being held under the theme, Feed Africa: food sovereignty and resilience.
Officially opening the Summit, Senegal President Macky Sall said the time had come for the continent to feed itself by adding value and stepping up the use of technology.
“From the farm to the plate, we need full food sovereignty, and we must increase land under cultivation and market access to enhance cross-border trade,” said Sall, who is also the African Union chairperson.