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Ukraine-Russia crisis: AfDB approves $1.5 bn facility to support Africa’s food system

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group’s Board has approved a US$ 1.5 billion facility to support African countries deal with the impact of the Russian-Ukraine war impacting food prices and availability.

Mr Philip Boahen, AfDB’s Chief Agriculture Policy Economist and Coordinator of Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme at AfDB, said this at Tamale, Ghana, on Saturday.

Boahen said the facility is expected to reach over 20 million African farmers to deal with the food shortfall.

The Bank, on its website, also said that with the disruption of food supplies arising from the war, Africa now faces a shortage of at least 30 million metric tonnes of food.

AfDB said that food like wheat, maize, and soybeans imported from both countries were majorly affected by the war.

According to the Bank, the US$1.5 billion, an African Emergency Food Production Facility, is an unprecedented comprehensive initiative to support smallholder farmers in filling the food shortfall.

The AfDB said it will provide fertilizer to smallholder farmers across Africa over the next four farming seasons, indicating it will use its convening influence with major fertilizer manufacturers, loan guarantees, and other financial instruments to provide the fertilizers.

”African farmers urgently need high-quality seeds and inputs before the planting season begins in May to immediately boost food supplies.

”The facility will provide 20 million African smallholder farmers with certified seeds.

”It will increase access to agricultural fertilizers and enable them to rapidly produce 38 million tonnes of food.

”This would be a US$ 12 billion increase in food production in just two years,” the AfDB said.

The Bank said the facility would lead to the production of 11 million tonnes of wheat; 18 million tonnes of maize; 6 million tonnes of rice; and 2.5 million tonnes of soybeans.

”It will also support market growth and post-harvest management, and create a platform to advocate for critical policy reforms to solve the structural issues that impede farmers from receiving modern inputs.”

vgn news 2022

Ginika Okoye

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