May 22/2022/ENA/ The African Development Bank (ADB) Group’s Board of Directors has approved a 1.5 billion USD facility to help African countries avert a looming food crisis.
According to ADB, with the disruption of food supplies arising from the Russia-Ukraine war, Africa now faces a shortage of at least 30 million metric tons of food, especially wheat, maize, and soybeans imported from both countries.
African farmers urgently need high-quality seeds and inputs before the planting season begins in May to immediately boost food supplies.
ADB’s 1.5 billion USD African Emergency Food Production Facility is an unprecedented comprehensive initiative to support smallholder farmers in filling the food shortfall.
The African Emergency Food Production Facility will provide 20 million African smallholder farmers with certified seeds; the Bank stated adding the facility will increase access to agricultural fertilizers and enable them to rapidly produce 38 million tons of food. This would be a 12 billion USD increase in food production in just two years.
African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said: “Food aid cannot feed Africa. Africa does not need bowls in hand. Africa needs seeds in the ground, and mechanical harvesters to harvest bountiful food produced locally. Africa will feed itself with pride for there is no dignity in begging for food…”