The African Development Bank approved $1.13 billion funding for 24 African nations to mitigate rising food prices and inflation caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.
The funding will target 20 million small-holder African farmers, with a view to ending reliance on food imports from Russia and Ukraine, the lender said in an emailed statement. Farmers will receive certified seeds and improved access to fertilisers, while the funds will also support governance and policy reform to boost investment in Africa’s agriculture.
“The African Emergency Food Production Facility will enable African farmers to produce 38 million additional tons of food over the next two years. This is food worth an estimated $12 billion,” the development bank said.
The ongoing war has left Africa with a food deficit of at least 30 million tons, according to the AfDB. If the plan is successful, African farmers are expected to produce about 11 million tons of wheat, 18 million tons of maize, six million tons of rice and 2.5 million tons of soybeans over the next two years, exceeding imports from Russia and Ukraine.
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