A $1.5 Billion Facility To Avert Food Crisis In Africa Approved

A $1.5 Billion Facility To Avert Food Crisis In Africa Approved

The African Development Bank Group’s Board Of Directors on Friday approved a $1.5 billion facility to help African countries avert a looming food crisis. Due to the Russian-Ukraine war that has led to the disruption of food supplies, Africa now faces a shortage of at least 30 million metric tons of food, especially wheat, maize, and soybeans imported from both countries.

Farmers in Africa are in more need of quality seeds and inputs which they need to plant to be able to boost food supplies. Therefore, the African Development bank board has approved $1.5 billion in facilities to avert the food crisis in Africa.

The African emergency food production facility will therefore provide 20 million African smallholder farmers with certified seeds. They will also enable them access to agricultural fertilizers, which will enhance them to rapidly produce 38 million tons of food.

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The African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina disclosed that food aid cannot feed Africa. He further stated that what Africa needs is not food bowls in their hands, but rather seeds in the ground, as well as mechanical harvests which will aid them to harvest bountiful food produced locally.

The African Development Bank will provide fertilizers to smallholder farmers across Africa over the next four farming seasons, using the convening influence with major fertilizer manufacturers, loan guarantees, and other financial instruments.

The Russian-Ukraine war negatively impacted a lot of countries most especially in Africa, because a large amount of them rely on Russia and Ukraine for a significant percentage of their food products, such as Wheat, Barley, Fertilizers, Vegetable oils, etc.

The war disrupted the global commodity markets and trade flows to Africa, which increased the prices of food in the region. Even before the war in Ukraine, a lot of countries in Africa were already faced with soaring food prices and scarcity, due to extreme climate change that disrupted planting and production efforts.

Many countries from East to Western Africa, have since been grappling with soaring food and fertilizer prices. The plan for the African Development Bank to provide 20 million farmers with seeds and fertilizers is highly commendable because Africans do not need to be spoon-fed, but rather given seeds to plant which will help them to also produce their food and stop being so dependent on other countries for food supplies.

Supplying them with foodstuffs will only do them more harm than good, as they will quickly exhaust it no matter how much, and always have them coming back for more which is not ideal. When these farmers in Africa put seeds in the ground, they will be able to feed themselves and also produce in large quantities, which will enable food security in the region. They will be able to feed themselves and preserve their dignity because there is no dignity in begging.

It has been estimated by the African Development bank that when these African farmers are given seeds and access to agricultural fertilizers, it will enable them to produce 38 million tons of food, which is a $12 billion increase in food production in just two years.

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