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AfDB Earmarks $1.5Bn For Africa’s Emergency Food Plan

As the Russia-Ukraine war continues to take huge toll on global food supply, the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Group has earmarked $1.5 billion for Africa Emergency Food Plan as part of its efforts to mitigate the impact of the projected war-triggered food crisis on Africans

The President of the AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who gave this hint on Tuesday during his visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, explained that due to the escalating war, the price of wheat had increased by about 60% just as the prices of maize and other grains are spiking.

He also projected that there may be a fertilizer crisis, as there would be about a 2 million metric tons deficit.

The development finance banker said: “To prepare against the evil day, the AfDB has developed a $1.5 billion Africa Emergency Food Plan, which is now before the bank’s Board for approval.

“It will affect food production by about 20%. Africa will lose $11 billion worth of food, and coming shortly after COVID-19 that would be rather serious”, he added.

Adesina maintained that the Russia-Ukraine war would create global problems, particularly for African countries that depend largely on food imports from the two countries.

He expatiated: “We were not ready for COVID-19, but we are now planning to avert food crisis on the continent. There is plan to help farmers cultivate wheat, maize, rice, sorghum, and soybeans. It will mitigate the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.”

On the bank’s intervention in Nigeria, Adesina hinted that during the rainy season of 2022, at least 5 million smallholder farmers would be helped to cultivate one million hectares of maize, one million hectares of rice, and 250,000 hectares of sorghum and soybeans, respectively.

He projected that through the intervention, Nigeria would be able to produce 9.5 million metric tons of food.

Adesina listed the states that would benefit from the assistance as including, Kano, Ogun, Oyo, Kaduna, Imo, Cross River, and the Federal Capital Territory.

He said: “Mr President, you have a passion for agriculture. We are behind you strongly, and we want to ensure Nigeria won’t feel the impact of the food crisis.”

In his remarks, President Buhari commended the bank’s management for planning ahead of whatever negative consequences may come from the Russia-Ukraine war in terms of food security.

Buhari said: “Thank you for knowing our weaknesses and our strengths and for planning and working ahead.

“We are very much aware of the need for food security, and to encourage our local farmers that was why we closed our borders for about two years to curb smuggling. We made some progress”, he added.

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