Averting a food crisis in Africa

The African Development Bank is boosting its focus on smallholder farmers. Last month it announced a $1.5 billion facility intended to avert a food crisis by benefiting 20 million African smallholder farmers.

The farmers will receive certified seed, fertiliser and technology to enable the rapid production of 38 million tons of food. It will also support market growth and post-harvest management, and aims to bring about a $12 billion increase in food production in two years.

The African Emergency Food Production Facility is a reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has faced Africa with a shortage of at least 30 million metric tons of food, especially wheat, maize and soya beans imported from both countries.

The facility includes short, medium and long-term measures to address both the urgent food crisis and the long-term sustainability and resilience of Africa’s food systems.

According to Dr Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank Group, food aid would not feed Africa.

“Africa needs seeds in the ground and mechanical harvesters to harvest bountiful food produced locally. Africa will feed itself with pride because there is no dignity in begging for food,” he said.