from ALEXIS DOUMBIA in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
ABIDJAN, (CAJ News) – FINANCIAL institutions and researchers have pledged to work closely with African leaders to address rising hunger on the continent and ensure adequate financing to transform and modernise Africa’s food production.
The African Development Bank (AfDB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in partnership with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the CGIAR System Organization, made the pledge.
The assurance comes amid the impact of climate change, rising fragility, conflict and locust invasions in East and Southern Africa taking a toll on the continent.
A high-level dialogue will focus on modernizing food production, making African agriculture more business oriented and strengthening value chains.
“Getting new and appropriate technologies into the hands of African farmers is a key part of addressing Africa’s agriculture and food security needs,” Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB president, said.
“Unless we show strong collective resolve and turn ambition into reality, we will be confronted with enormous food shortages on the continent. The consequences of not acting would be devastating.”
Hunger poses an even greater risk than Covid-19 in Africa.
The number of people living with hunger increased from 214 million to 246 million between 2015 and 2020.
Agricultural and agro-business related activities could provide employment opportunities for millions of young Africans, who account for 70 percent of the population.
Gilbert Houngbo, IFAD president, said agriculture has the potential to become a thriving and successful sector that creates jobs and provides livelihoods for small-scale farmers and rural populations.
“Africa has the potential to feed itself and feed the world,” Houngbo said.
– CAJ News