The president of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has made a compelling case, for the United States to back the institution’s $1.5 billion emergency food production plan.
The plan seeks to avert a looming food crisis in Africa caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The Bank Chief, and a panel of witnesses, testified about global food insecurity and persisting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic before the US Senate subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programmes.
Among others, senators Chris Coons (Delaware), Lyndsey Graham (South Carolina), Dick Durbin (Illinois), Chris Van Hollen (Maryland) and Roy Blunt (Missouri) participated in the hearing.
Senator Coons, Chair of the Senate subcommittee, stressed that the US should move fast and provide sufficient funding. “We should be concerned and even alarmed about the widening food security crisis that this war is causing for hundreds of millions far beyond Eastern Europe,” he said.
Senator Graham expressed support for the establishment of a global fund for food security.
Speaking live via videoconference from Accra, Ghana, Dr. Adesina said the proposed Africa Emergency Food Production Plan would result in the rapid production of 38 million tons of food across Africa over the next two years.
“The African Development Bank, with your support, is prepared to meet this new challenge and others head-on,” he said.
The plan is anchored on the provision of certified seeds of climate-adapted varieties to 20 million African farmers.
With the disruption of food supplies arising from the Russia-Ukraine war, Africa faces a shortage of at least 30 million metric tons of food, especially wheat, maize, and soybeans imported from the two countries.
An African Emergency Food Production Plan
Dr. Adesina said the African Development Bank would invest $1.3 billion in the plan’s implementation.
He called on the US to make up the funding balance.
“With US support to reduce the $200 million financing gap – we can ensure the Africa Emergency Food Production Plan’s success,” he said.
The Africa Emergency Food Production Plan is currently before the African Development Bank’s Board of Directors for approval.
Also providing testimony were David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme and Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, Chief Executive Officer of non-governmental organization Mercy Corps.
McKenna said, “a perfect storm is leading to heightened global food insecurity, worse, much worse than the previous food crises over the past decade.”
She cited the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change as factors sharpening the current food insecurity.
Mr. Beasley said food insecurity had already begun to rise sharply before the war.
He said 135 million people were acutely food-insecure before the onset of the pandemic. “COVID-19 comes along and that number went from 135 million to 276 million people marching toward starvation.”
Dr. Adesina emphasised that the African Development Bank’s food production plan would foster the production of nutritious food rather than simply calories. “One of the things we will be supporting through this emergency food production plan is bio-fortified foods. Sorghum fortified with iron. Nutritional supplementation is important,” he said
The Bank president said the bank was setting up meetings with international fertiliser companies to discuss ways to ensure that African farmers continued to have access to such inputs.
“If we don’t solve the fertiliser problem, we cannot solve the food problem.
According to Dr. Adesina, the Africa Emergency Food Production Plan would have a long-term impact on Africa’s food productivity.
The initiative will “drive the structural changes in agriculture, to unleash the full potential of Africa to become a breadbasket to the world,” he said.
- Uneasy calm at WondaWorld Estates as wildlife officers move in to remove tigers
- Renowned American producer Timbaland reacts to Black Sherif’s Kwaku The Traveller
- Video of trainer playing with Cheddar’s tigers pops up
- 2 Nigerians arrested for attempting to kidnap a 5-year-old child
- Who is Kelvin Taylor? – Yvonne Nelson quizzes
- ‘My 2 tigers are to help boost tourism’ – Freedom Jacob Caesar
- Cheddar’s Tigers are well secured – Forestry Commission
- What the law says about keeping wild animals like tigers as pets in Ghana
- I took tramadol for confidence to approach my crush; I nearly died – 24-year-old man
- Ghana records $4.5bn remittances in 2021, places 2nd in Sub-Saharan Africa – World Bank
‘Put our taxes to good use’ – Agbogbloshie traders urge AMA to desilt clogged drains
Deliver textbooks for basic schools before end of second semester – GNAT President tells goverment
Ministry of Education signs contract with Publishers Association to print textbooks for basic schools
Philip Kyeremanteng: Why Achimota Forest must be reserved
I went through proper procedures to acquire my tigers – Freedom Jacob Caesar
Tension simmers at UEW as Governing Council Chairman directs Registrar to proceed on leave
Nana Kojo Quaidoo: NPP internal elections – Akoto factor still gathering momentum in Upper East Region
U-17 WWCQ: Ghana beats Morocco 2-0 to claim first leg advantage
New Music: Kuami Eugene, Wendy Shay release new singles, Lojay features Chris Brown
Work to commence on Tumu-Han-Lawra Highway in June – UWR Minister
Cheddar’s Tigers are well secured – Forestry Commission
Who is Kelvin Taylor? – Yvonne Nelson quizzes
Eastern Regional Security Council disclaims video on alleged ritual murder
AIMS holds awe-inspiring Climate Science Speaker Series (CSSS) 2022
2 Nigerians arrested for attempting to kidnap a 5-year-old child