To combat growing hunger on the continent, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), and the CGIAR System Organisation have formed an alliance.
The effects of climate change, growing fragility, war, and locust invasions in east and southern Africa are taking a toll on the continent’s effort to combat food insecurity, the group observed during a two-day high-level discussion centered on modernising food production.
Governments, development partners, and the private sector will all need to work together to find solutions.
Government officials, heads of multilateral development banks, development partners, international organizations, research institutions, business leaders, private sector operators, investment agencies, and civil society organizations were all in attendance at the virtual gathering.
The dialogue provided an opportunity to share successes and lessons learned from across Africa in order to speed up agricultural transformation. Hunger is a greater threat across the continent than COVID-19. Around 2015 and 2020, the number of people who are hungry rose from 214 million to 246 million. Agricultural and agrobusiness-related activities can provide job opportunities for millions of young Africans, who make up 70% of the population.
“A key part of addressing Africa’s agriculture and food security needs is getting new and appropriate technologies into the hands of African farmers. We will face enormous food shortages on the continent unless we display strong collective resolve and transform ambition into reality,” African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said.
“This is certain due to rapid population growth, urbanization, and ongoing climate change. The consequences of failing to act will be disastrous. IFAD President Gilbert Houngbo said, “Africa has the potential to feed itself and the world.”
Participants agreed that increased efficiency, interconnected supply chains, and economies of scale are at the core of Africa’s food security challenge.