US$17bn to help Africa double agric production

04 May, 2021 - 00:05 0 Views
US$17bn to help Africa double agric production

The Chronicle

Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
AFRICA is expected to double agricultural productivity after the African Development Bank (AfDB) and partners have pledged over $17 billion to finance food security interventions.

The pledge was made during a recent high-level dialogue hosted by AfDB and the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in partnership with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and CGIAR System Organisation.

“A coalition of multilateral development banks and development partners has pledged over $17 billion in financing to address rising hunger on the African continent and to improve food security,” said the AfDB in a statement after the meeting.

A total of 17 African heads of state signed the commitment to boost agricultural production by doubling productivity levels through the scaling up of agro-technologies. It is hoped that this would include investing in access to markets and promoting agricultural research and development.

Of the overall amount pledged, more than US$10 billion came from the AfDB, which would invest US$1,57 billion on scaling up 10 selected priority commodities over the next five years.

“This will help countries achieve self-sufficiency. Another US$8,83 billion will go towards building strong value chains for the commodities over the next five years,” said the bank.

“This will include programmes to create opportunities for young people — particularly women.”

IFAD has pledged to provide an additional U$$1,5 billion to support national efforts to transform food and agricultural systems in Africa over the next three years.

“IFAD will also invest more in creating the pre-conditions for increased agricultural productivity. The organisation is helping to develop a growing pipeline of investments to restore land, create jobs and build resilience to climate change in the Sahel region.

“This will contribute to the Green Great Wall objectives and will create 10 million jobs in the region by 2030.”

The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), committed up to US$1,5 billion over the period 2020-2024 in agriculture.

The Islamic Development Bank Group said it would earmark US$3,5 billion to develop the agriculture sector in Africa in the next three years. AfDB said in an additional show of solidarity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, joining a coalition of development partners, declared that it will invest US$652 million in the next three years.

“This will support agricultural research and development initiatives in Africa. This funding is expected to empower 300 million farmers with a host of new innovations,” said AfDB. — @okazunga.

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