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AfDB, IFAD and partners redouble efforts to stop hunger in Africa, strengthen food security

May 2, 2021

The African Development Bank (AfDB), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in partnership with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the CGIAR System Organization, pledged to work closely with African leaders to address rising hunger on the continent and shore up adequate financing to transform and modernize Africa’s food production.

The impact of climate change, rising fragility and conflict, and locust invasions in East and Southern Africa is taking a toll on the continent. A two-day high-level dialogue will focus on modernizing food production, making African agriculture more business oriented, and strengthening agriculture value chains. Finding solutions will require strong backing from governments, development partners and the private sector.

Across the continent, hunger poses an even greater risk than Covid-19. 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% of the population.

“Getting new and appropriate technologies into the hands of African farmers is a key part of addressing Africa’s agriculture and food security needs. Unless we show strong collective resolve and turn ambition into reality, we will be confronted with enormous food shortages on the continent,” African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said. “Rapid population growth, urbanization and ongoing climate change will make this certain. The consequences of not acting would be devastating.”

“Africa has the potential to feed itself and feed the world,” said IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo. “If we commit today to increasing investments in modernizing agriculture, providing skills, finance and better access to food value chains, agriculture has the potential to become a thriving and successful sector that creates jobs and provides livelihoods for small-scale farmers and rural populations – in particular, for millions of young Africans joining the job market.”

Enhanced productivity, integrated value chains and economies of scale are at the heart of Africa’s food security challenge.

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