By Asmau Ahmad
The African Development Bank (AfDB) said that Africa will not experience food crisis contrary to reports of an imminent food crisis.
President of the AfDB Group, Dr Akinwumi Adesina gave the assurance at a meeting with journalists, ahead of the Bank’s 2022 Annual Meetings in Accra, Ghana.
Dr Adesina said the AfDB was ready with plans to avert any looming food crisis.
The president said his conviction was based on the ‘High 5’ programmes of the AfDB which centered on Feed Africa.
“Our Feed Africa `High 5’ work has already benefitted over 76 million farmers with access to improved agricultural technologies,” Adesina.
He said the continent must be a solution for food to the world because it has 65 per cent of the arable land.
The president said though Africa was faced with a lot of challenges, the Bank was not deterred by the challenges.
Adesina said the AfDB and the African Union Commission had developed the Africa Emergency Food Production Plan.
He said the plan would provide 20 million farmers with improved seeds and fertilizers, as well as other farm inputs to produce 38 million tonnes of food worth 12 billion dollars.
Adesina said the food would include 11 million tonnes of wheat, 18 million tonnes of maize, six million tonnes of rice and 2.5 million tonnes of soybeans.
“I am not scared of food crisis. To deal with anything that is a crisis, you must have a plan. Africa must be a solution for food for the world because we have 65 per cent of the arable land. Noise is not equal to data and fear is not a statistic.
“You may ask, why am I so confident that we will be able to avoid a looming food crisis? It is because our plan is based on the incredibly successful work of the African Development Bank through its `High 5’ on Feed Africa.
“The AfDB has also been implementing a very successful programme Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) which is getting agricultural technologies to farmers at scale.
“Africa does not need bowls in hand, Africa needs seeds in the ground.
“Africa should not be begging for food; Africa must produce its own food. There is no dignity in begging for food,” he assured.
Adesina said the Bank would be celebrating the African Development Fund (ADF) which would turn 50 years this year.
He said the ADF had contributed 45 billion dollars to support Africa’s low-income countries. The president said that the AfDB would be discussing with the Board of Governors, how to raise more resources for the ADF to better support low income and fragile countries in the continent.