Up to 20 million African smallholder farmers will get access to certified seeds after the African Development Bank (AfDB) announced that $1.5 billion in funding was approved for the African Emergency Food Production Facility. This facility was established in May 2022 to boost food security, resilience, and nutrition across the continent.
The AfDB’s board of directors has approved 24, fast-track programs to help Africa mitigate rising food prices and inflation caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine, climate change, and the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, it will help with policy and governance change, which is anticipated to stimulate more investment in Africa’s agricultural sector. Over the next two years, 38 million additional tonnes of food will be able to be produced by African farmers thanks to the African Emergency Food Production Facility. This food is believed to be worth $12 billion.
A total of $1.13 billion in mixed financing for emergency facility initiatives aimed at 24 countries, including eight in West Africa, five in East Africa, six in Southern Africa, four in Central Africa, and one in North Africa, had been approved by the Bank Group’s board of directors as of July 15.
A week to remember
“This is a landmark week for the African Development Bank and the African Emergency Food Production Facility,” said Dr Beth Dunford, the AfDB’s vice president for agriculture, human and social development. “These programs will deliver much-needed climate-adapted seeds, access to affordable fertilisers and usher in policy reforms to enable the agriculture sector to supply immediate, medium and long-term solutions to challenges faced in regional member countries.”
Programmes are being developed by the African Emergency Food Production Facility to accommodate requests from more continental nations. The plant concentrates on staple crops, which are mostly imported by several African countries from Russia and the Ukraine. However, the continent now has a food shortage of at least 30 million tonnes as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. A total of 38 million tonnes of food will be produced if the factory is put into operation, which is more than what is imported from Russia and the Ukraine combined. A total of 11 million tonnes of wheat, 18 million tonnes of maize, 6 million tonnes of rice, and 2.5 million tonnes of soybeans would be produced by African farmers thanks to the plant.
Building on the success of the Bank’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) platform, the programme will be implemented. TAAT, which was established in 2019, provided 1.8 million farmers in seven countries with heat-tolerant wheat seed varieties. Additionally, it led to an $840 million boost in wheat production of 2.7 million tonnes.