34 countries, 20 milion farmers to benefit from AfDB’s $1.5bn agric fund – Adesina
Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) says that the African financial powerhouse has earmarked a total of $1.5 billion tagged, “Emergency Food Production Facility, to support food security and sufficiency in Africa.
Adesina, who stated this in an interview in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital, when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State on Monday, noted that the facility became imperative as a result of the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia which had seen prices of wheat and maize skyrocket.
Adesina added that the emergency food production facility would be supporting 34 countries, with 20 million farmers producing roughly 38 million metric tons of food valued at $12 billion.
He expressed confidence that Africa would not have a food crisis as a result of the war in Ukraine.
Adesina, while also noting that a Feed Africa Summit in Dakar, Senegal, which had about 34 heads of state in attendance, including President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, was able to mobilize $30 billion in support of food and agriculture delivery compact of countries in Africa.
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“Because of the war in Ukraine by Russia which actually sent prices of wheat and maize skyrocketing, all over the world, we have global inflation because of that and therefore, the impact of that is going to be quite serious for our houses, particularly, low income households.
“The African Development Bank has put in place immediately a $1.5 billion Emergency Food Production Facility that is currently now supporting 34 countries, with 20 million farmers to produce roughly 38 million metric tons of food valued at $12 billion.
“So, I am pretty confident we are not going to have a food crisis as a result of the war in Ukraine, but, we cannot stop there, am just coming here having completed the Feed Africa Summit in Dakar, that I co-organized with His Excellency, President of Senegal.
“It was a hugely successful summit, we were able to mobilize $30b in support of food and agriculture delivery compact of countries that will allow African countries to be totally self sufficient in food. In 3 to 5 years, we should be done with feeding ourselves, we should be actually exporting food and several other things,” he said.
While commending Governor Dapo Abiodun for the Agro Cargo Airport project which is set to be inaugurated in the first quarter of 2023, the AfDB President noted that having a cargo airport in the state would facilitate the development of agricultural value chain in Ogun.
“The Cargo Airport is an excellent idea, because when you produce agricultural commodities, you would not only be able to store it, you have to be able to process it and you have to be able to transport it. And I think having a cargo airport would just facilitate the development of agricultural value chain right here in Ogun State, it is a very excellent idea and I have always supported it from the start,” Adesina said.