AFRICA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced plans to reach over 40 million farmers with modern and climate resilient technologies in the next five years.
According to the multilateral financial institution, its Feed Africa Strategy through its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) programme has so far provided 11 million farmers across 29 African countries with proven agricultural technologies for food security.
The AfDB maintained that food production has expanded by 12 million metric tonnes under the initiative while saving US$814 million worth of food imports.
The President, African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, stated this at the United Nations Food Systems Summit.
Earlier in the year at a meeting on food security in Africa organised by AfDB and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), 19 African Heads of States had called for the establishment of a facility for financing food security and nutrition in Africa.
“The facility for financing food security and nutrition in Africa should be capitalised with at least US$ 1 billion per year,” Adesina said.
Decrying the 246 million people in Africa who go to bed daily without food and the continent’s 59 million stunted children as “morally and socially unacceptable,” Adesina said delivering food security for Africa at greater scale called for prioritising technologies, climate and financing.
He added that the US$33 billion per year required to free the world of hunger, is just 0.12 per cent of US$27 trillion that the world has deployed as stimulus to address the COVID-19 pandemic, expressing optimism that zero hunger would be achieved in Africa by 2030.
Convener and UN Secretary General, Mr. António Guterres, said the event is billed by its organisers as, “a historic opportunity to empower all people to leverage the power of food systems to drive the world’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and get the world back on track to achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.”
The summit brought together thousands of youths, food producers, members of civil society, researchers, the private sector, women and indigenous people, all of whom are participating both physically and virtually in the summit. It is taking place on the sidelines of the 76th UN General Assembly in New York.
In his opening address, Guterres said the participants represented “energy, ideas and the willingness to create new partnerships,” and was a time to celebrate the dignity of those who produce and create the world’s food.
The welfare of the 70 per cent of Africa’s population working in agriculture and agribusiness is a barometer of the state of the continent’s health.
“If they aren’t doing well, then Africa isn’t doing well,” Rwandan president Paul Kagame said in a message at the official opening.