The economic fallout of the Russia-Ukraine war has pushed the African Development Bank (AfDB) to devise a $1.5 billion Africa Emergency Food Production Plan.
This was disclosed in a press release seen by Nairametrics which stated that the initiative will support the country’s 5 million smallholder farmers during the wet season of 2022.
The African Development Bank’s emergency food plan is currently before the Bank’s Board of Directors for approval. It is set for implementation by the end of May 2022 and will cover all African member countries of the Bank.
According to the official AfDB, the price of wheat in Africa has increased by more than 45% since the war began. Fertilizer costs have risen by 300%, and the continent is facing a 2 million metric ton fertilizer shortfall. If this isn’t fixed, AfDB said, Africa’s food output will drop by 20%, costing the continent approximately $11 billion in lost revenue.
What African Development Bank is saying
The press release stated that Russia and Ukraine dominate exports of wheat and maize to Africa. The President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, met with Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war and the Bank’s strategy to avoid a food crisis in Africa.
- AfDB also noted that Africa now faces a shortage of at least 30 million metric tons of food, especially for wheat, maize, and soybeans imported from both countries.
- As a cushion to the impending food shortage, Dr Akinwumi told President Buhari that “the African Development Bank has designed a $1.5 billion Africa Emergency Food Production Plan to support countries to rapidly-produce around 38 million tonnes of food to mitigate the effect of the war on food prices. This will include 11 million tonnes of wheat; 18 million tonnes of maize; 6 million tonnes of rice; and 2.5 million tonnes of soybeans.”
- He added, “Nigeria is a top priority under the emergency food production plan, Adesina said, adding that the strategy will help the country produce 9.5 million tonnes of food.
- “The initiative will support the country’s 5 million smallholder farmers during the wet season of 2022 and 1 million across 10 northern states during the dry season of 2022/2023, the Bank chief estimated.”
- Adesina stressed that urgent actions are needed to prevent a food crisis in Africa. He, therefore, reaffirmed that the Bank “is fully prepared to meet this new challenge head-on.”
In case you missed it
- The African Development Bank is also supporting Nigeria in establishing Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ), which the Nigerian president is due to launch soon.
- The Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones will be located in 7 States – Kano, Kaduna, Oyo, Ogun, Kwara, Imo, Cross River and the FCT.
- The Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) is an integrated development initiative aimed at concentrating agro-processing activities within areas of high agricultural potential to boost productivity and integrate the production, processing and marketing of selected commodities.