African countries commit to double agricultural productivity

AF agricultureA coalition of multilateral development banks and development partners has pledged more than US$17bn in financing to address rising hunger on the African continent, and to improve food security

These funds were pledged on the final day of a two-day high-level dialogue called Feeding Africa, leadership to scale up successful innovations.

Seventeen African heads of state have signed on to the commitment to boost agricultural production by doubling current productivity levels through the scaling up of agro-technologies. This will include investing in access to markets, and promoting agricultural research and development.

More than US$10bn came from The African Development Bank, which said it would invest US$1.57bn on scaling up 10 selected priority commodities over the next five years. This will help countries achieve self-sufficiency. Another US$8.83bn will go towards building strong value chains for these commodities over the next five years. This will include programmes to create opportunities for young people, particularly women.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development said it aimed to provide an additional US$1.5bn 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.

Gilbert F. Houngbo, president of IFAD, said, “We praise the African leaders commitment to increase agricultural productivity and improve food security for millions of Africans. By modernizing African agriculture, small-holder farmers will be in a better position to bring more affordable food to consumers and create decent livelihoods for millions of young Africans involved in the processing, storage and marketing of food.”

The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), committed up to US$1.5bn over the period 2020-2024 in agriculture. The Islamic Development Bank Group said it would earmark US$3.5bn to develop the agriculture sector in Africa in the next three years. It said these investments will develop commodity value chains for both staple food and cash crops.

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