The African Development Bank (ADB) says its Board of Directors have approved a loan facility of $1.5 billion to avert a looming food crisis on the African continent.
It is estimated that Africa is currently faced with a shortage of at least 30 million metric tons of foods like wheat, maize, and soybeans imported from Russia and Ukraine.
“The African Emergency Food Production Facility will provide 20 million African smallholder farmers with certified seeds. It will increase access to agricultural fertilisers and enable them to rapidly produce 38 million tons of food. This would be a $12 billion increase in food production in just two years”, the bank said
It added that the bank’s facility strategy will lead to the production of 11 million tons of wheat; 18 million tons of maize; 6 million tons of rice; and 2.5 million tons of soybeans.
“The African Development Bank will provide fertiliser to smallholder farmers across Africa over the next four farming seasons, using its convening influence with major fertiliser manufacturers, loan guarantees, and other financial instruments.
“The Facility will also create a platform to advocate for critical policy reforms to solve the structural issues that impede farmers from receiving modern inputs. This includes strengthening national institutions overseeing input markets”, the bank explained.
According to the bank, the facility is “an unprecedented comprehensive initiative to support smallholder farmers in filling the food shortfall” to immediately boost food supply.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini