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AfDB will provide $1.5bn to secure Africa’s food security, says Akinwumi Adesina

Author:
Busola Aro

Akinwumi Adesina, president, African Development Bank (AfDB), says the bank will provide a $1.5 billion Africa Emergency Food Plan to secure food security.

Adesina said this on Tuesday during a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.

Adesina said major steps have been taken by the bank to avert the food crisis in Africa, in the predicted future.

He said $1.5 billion food plan would mitigate the food crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine war, adding that the food plan was awaiting the ratification of the bank’s board.

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“We were not ready for COVID-19, but we are planning to avert food crisis on the continent. There is a plan to help farmers cultivate wheat, maize, rice, sorghum, and soybeans. It will mitigate the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war,” he said.

Adesina said the Russia-Ukraine war would create global problems, particularly for Africa, which imports a huge percentage of its food from the two countries.

He also said the price of wheat has increased by about 60 per cent, adding that it would affect 20 per cent of Africa’s food production.

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“Already, the price of wheat has gone up about 60 per cent. Maize and other grains will also be affected. There may be a fertiliser crisis, as there would be about a two million metric ton deficit. And that will affect food production by about 20 per cent. Africa will lose $11 billion worth of food, and coming shortly after COVID-19, that would be rather serious,” Adesina said.

On his part, Buhari said one of his main goals is to protect the country’s food security, adding that his administration shut land borders to encourage farmers, and much has been achieved through the plan.

He lauded the AfDB for planning against the negative consequences that might arise from the Russia-Ukraine conflict in terms of food security.

“Thank you for knowing our weaknesses and our strengths and for planning and working ahead,” Buhari said.

“We are very much aware of the need for food security, and to encourage our local farmers that was why we closed our borders for about two years to curb smuggling. We made some progress.”

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