Banks, partners pledge $17 billion to boost food security in Africa

Banks, partners pledge $17 billion to boost food security in Africa

A group of multilateral development banks and their development partners have reportedly pledged more than $17 billion to improve food security and overcome rising challenges of hunger on the continent.

These funds were announced on the last day of Feeding Africa: leadership to scale up successful innovations—a two-day high-level affair. The UN’s International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the African Development Bank hosted the event in collaboration with the CGIAR System Organization and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).

Seventeen African leaders inked the commitment to augment agricultural output by two-fold. The heads of state have emphasized revving up agro-technologies, which include investing in agricultural research and development, and access to markets.

The African Development Bank infused over $10 billion, allocating around $1.57 billion to ramp up 10 selected priority commodities over the next half-a-decade. The remaining $8.83 billion will be entrusted to building strong value chains and provide opportunities for the young population, especially women.

The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) has reportedly promised around $1.5 billion in agriculture from 2020-2024. Meanwhile, the Islamic Development Bank Group stated it would provide $3.5 billion to boost the agriculture industry in Africa in the next three years.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation followed the suit and announced that it would pour $652 million in a similar period. More than 300 million farmers are expected to gain impetus from an array of innovations.

Gilbert F. Houngbo, the President of the International Fund for Agriculture Development, was all praise for the commitment of African leaders to scale up agricultural productivity and bolster food security for the African population. He opined that small-holder farmers would be better of through advancements in African agriculture.

For the record, the IFAD put forth an additional $1.5 billion to foster agricultural and food systems in the continent over the next three years.

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