(Ecofin Agency) - An alliance of multilateral development banks and development partners pledged over $17 billion toward addressing rising hunger and improving food security in Africa. This occurred at a two-day dialogue held on 29th-30th April under the theme Feeding Africa.
During the forum, seventeen African leaders signed a commitment to improving agricultural production. This, in turn, will double the current level of productivity through scaling up agricultural technology, promoting agricultural research and development, and investing in access to markets.
“We praise the African leaders’ commitment to increase agricultural productivity and improve food security for millions of Africans,” said Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development. He went ahead to say: “By modernizing African agriculture, small-scale 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.”
Among the participants of the forum are The African Development Bank, The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, The Islamic Development Bank Group, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The African development bank pledged the lion share of more than $10 billion with $8.83 billion alone committed to building strong value chains that will create opportunities typically for women.
As outlined in the African Development Bank’s “The High Fives for Transforming Africa,” agricultural growth and issues related to food insecurity will require sustained multi-sectoral interventions such as appropriate policy reforms, promoting employment for youth and women, and embracing an integrated value-chain approach that point to market access and climate-smart agriculture.
Rapidly rising food imports, resulting from increased food demand and changing consumption habits, is expected to pass $110 billion by 2025. However, this could be altered by growth in African production.