The African Development Bank (AfDB) has commenced engagement with multilateral lenders and other partners in an effort to mobilize funds to address rising food insecurity in Africa which has been termed a greater threat than COVID-19 pandemic.
AfDB, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in partnership with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the CGIAR System Organization have pledged to collaborate with African leaders to address rising hunger on the continent and shore up adequate financing to transform and modernize Africa’s food production.
The lender says the number of people living with hunger has increased from 214 million in 2015 to 246 million in 2020.
The worsening food security situation in the continent is being attributed to the impact of climate change, rising fragility and conflict, and locust invasions in East and Southern Africa.
According to AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina, agricultural and agro-business related activities could provide employment opportunities for millions of young Africans, who account for 70% of the population.
“Getting new and appropriate technologies into the hands of African farmers is a key part of addressing Africa’s agriculture and food security needs. Unless we show strong collective resolve and turn ambition into reality, we will be confronted with enormous food shortages on the continent. Rapid population growth, urbanization and ongoing climate change will make this certain. The consequences of not acting would be devastating,” warned Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President.
The two-day high-level dialogue which ends Friday focuses on modernizing food production, making African agriculture more business oriented, and strengthening agriculture value chains.
“Africa has the potential to feed itself and feed the world. If we commit today to increasing investments in modernizing agriculture, providing skills, finance and better access to food value chains, agriculture has the potential to become a thriving and successful sector that creates jobs and provides livelihoods for small-scale farmers and rural populations – in particular, for millions of young Africans joining the job market,” said Gilbert F. Houngbo, IFAD President.
Kenya which has been battling desert locust invasion in partnership with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the last one and a half years has recently seen decline in invasion.
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