AFRICA – The African Development Bank has approved loans to Nigeria, Egypt, and Tanzania to scale up food production.

The loans have been awarded under AfDB’s US$1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility designed to help African countries avert a looming food crisis caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine and persisting impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the facility, Nigeria’s National Agriculture Growth Scheme – Agro has been granted a US$134 million loan to scale up food production and boost livelihood resilience.

The program will support the fast-tracking of the implementation of key policy and institutional reforms and boost private sector participation in agriculture.

This will help increase cereals and oil grains production by 7 million tonnes to 35 million tonnes, and average cereal yields from 1.42 tonnes to 2 tonnes per hectare during the September 2022-December 2023 implementation period.

In Egypt, the African Development Bank Board of Directors has approved a loan of US$ 271 million to finance the country’s Food Security and Economic Resilience Support Program to support efforts to mitigate the impact of the global shocks on the domestic economy from the Russia-Ukraine conflict and to preserve resilience.

The program includes two major components: Support for the Food Security Response and Build Private Sector and Fiscal Resilience.

The first component of the program seeks to increase national agricultural productivity and mitigate food security risks for people in vulnerable situations.

The program will support broad-based growth by increasing agricultural productivity and sustainability by setting additional incentives to encourage local farmers to grow wheat and increasing their share of subsidized fertilizers.

The second component will help enhance Egypt’s private sector and fiscal resilience which can be instrumental in reducing the economic and social impacts of the exogenous shocks.

The African Development Bank Group has also approved a US$73.5 million loan to finance Tanzania Agricultural Inputs Support Project, which seeks to boost Tanzania’s food production by a million tonnes in three years and strengthen the country’s capacity to achieve self-sufficiency in wheat and edible oil production by 2030.

The funds will help strengthen the supply of climate-resilient wheat, sunflower, and rice seeds. It will also ensure fertilizer availability and affordability; and support policies that improve the regulatory environment for the rapid uptake of certified seeds and fertilizers.

With the disruption of food supplies arising from the Russia-Ukraine war, Africa now faces a shortage of at least 30 million metric tons of food, especially wheat, maize, and soybeans imported from both countries. The African Emergency Food Production Facility seeks to produce an additional 38 million tonnes of food – worth US$ 12 billion – in Africa over the next two years.

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