A coalition of multilateral development banks and development partners has pledged more than $ 17 billion in funding to tackle growing hunger on the African continent and improve food security.
These funds were pledged on the last day of a two-day high-level dialogue called Feed Africa: leadership to scale up successful innovations. The African Development Bank and the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) hosted the event in partnership with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the CGIAR System Organization on April 29-30 .
Seventeen African heads of state have endorsed the pledge to boost agricultural production by doubling current productivity levels through the scaling up of agro-technologies. This will include investments in market access and the promotion of agricultural research and development.
The various parties adopted a press release describing these commitments at the end of the event.
Of the overall pledged amount, more than $ 10 billion came from the African Development Bank, which announced it would invest $ 1.57 billion in scaling up 10 selected priority products over the next five. years. This will help countries achieve self-sufficiency. Another $ 8.83 billion will be spent on building strong value chains for these products over the next five years. This will include programs aimed at creating opportunities for young people – especially women.
The President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, said: âToday, let’s create a stronger partnership: a partnership on a larger scale; a partnership to bring technologies and innovations to hundreds of millions of farmers. “
The International Fund for Agricultural Development has said it aims to provide an additional $ 1.5 billion to support national efforts to transform food and agricultural systems in Africa over the next three years. IFAD will also invest more in creating the preconditions for increased agricultural productivity. The organization is helping to develop a growing portfolio of investments to restore land, create jobs and build resilience to climate change in the Sahel region. This will contribute to the goals of the Great Green Wall and create 10 million jobs in the region by 2030.
IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo said: âWe welcome the commitment of African leaders to increase agricultural productivity and improve food security for millions of Africans. By modernizing African agriculture, smallholder farmers will be in a better position to bring more affordable food to consumers and create decent livelihoods for millions of young Africans involved in food processing, storage and marketing.
The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) has committed up to $ 1.5 billion over the period 2020-2024 in agriculture. The Islamic Development Bank Group has said it will devote $ 3.5 billion to developing the agricultural sector in Africa over the next three years. He said these investments will develop commodity value chains for staple and cash crops.
In an additional show of solidarity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, joining a coalition of development partners, said it will invest $ 652 million over the next three years. This will support agricultural research and development initiatives in Africa. This funding should allow 300 million farmers to benefit from a multitude of new innovations.
Senegalese President Macky Sall summarized the interventions of African heads of state on Thursday with the following seven-point action list:
Speed ââup agricultural production by developing technologies
Increase investments in research and development
Improving the language of business in agriculture to open up to the world
Support access to markets and the installation of basic infrastructure and equipment
Invest in new businesses to transform agricultural products to support small producers.
Create a financing facility for food security and nutrition in Africa
The forum communiquÃ© reflected these action points, emphasizing the call for a financing facility for food security in Africa. It was felt that this would be an appropriate channel for building climate resilience and efficient agricultural technologies. It will include digital innovations for farmers across Africa and enable countries to better tackle malnutrition and stunting.
Sub-Saharan Africa has a quarter of the world’s arable land but produces only 10% of its agricultural production. The low productivity of staple crops makes African agriculture uncompetitive. As a result, the continent imports a third of the calories it consumes. This makes food systems more vulnerable and dependent on external food supply chains.
The results of this week’s Leaders’ Dialogue will be communicated to the United Nations Secretary-General as Africa’s commitment to the United Nations Food Systems Summit in September this year. They will lay the groundwork for Africa to present a unified voice to scale up efforts and partnerships to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
African Development Bank: Amba Mpoke-Bigg | email: [email protected]
IFAD: Antonia Paradela | email: [email protected]
FARA: Benjamin Abugri | [email protected]
CGIAR: Valerie Poire | email: [email protected]