AfDB, Development Partners Roll out Initiative to Boost Food Production in Africa
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has partnered with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to roll out Mission 1 for 200, an initiative aimed at helping 40 million African farmers by doubling productivity and producing 100 million metric tons of food for 200 million people.
The initiative was launched during the Africa Food Summit in Dakar, which ended on Friday and development partners agreed to commit $30 billion to the initiative, with the African Development Bank committing $10 billion over five years, and the Islamic Development Bank intends to provide $5 billion.
Organized by the Senegalese government and the African Development Bank, the Summit rallied dozens of dignitaries, including 34 heads of state and government, 70 government ministers, and development partners, to work tirelessly on compacts that would transform agriculture across Africa. The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins attended all three days of the summit.
Addressing the closing plenary, AfDB Group President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said the continent and its partners are determined to see results and that implementation is critical to boosting food production and feeding Africa.
“The message was clear: we will work together to strongly support the implementation of the Food and Agriculture Delivery Compacts at country levels,” Adesina said. He said the heads of state and government committed to setting up presidential high-level advisory councils to oversee the implementation of the Compacts, to be chaired by the presidents themselves in their respective countries.
Mission 1 for 200 will build resilience by helping food systems and farmers adapt to climate change and reducing agriculture’s environmental impact and emissions. It will double agricultural productivity through the use of state-of-the-art, climate-smart technology and advice. Additionally, the initiative will work to bring greater investment to fragile regions that are disproportionately impacted by climate change and often deemed “too risky”.
Adesina said that the Summit will be remembered as a key moment in Africa’s ability to feed itself and achieve food self-sufficiency and food sovereignty: “We leave with a determination and resolve to feed Africa. With hands together and in locked steps, we will reach our destination: An Africa that finally feeds itself. An Africa that develops with pride.” In the Dakar Declaration, the leaders agreed to allocate at least 10% of public expenditure to increase funding for agriculture. They also resolved to deploy robust production packages to boost productivity and increase resilience to achieve food security and self-sufficiency.
To achieve these goals, Mission 1 for 200 will leverage the private sector, de-risk, and unlock more private investment to promote enhanced and climate-adapted production as well as value-addition. The initiative will also work to build the enabling and policy environment for food systems and provide delivery models that analyse supply chain structures for providing services that improve the productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers.
Adesina and IFAD president Dr. Alvaro Lario signed a letter of intent cementing their partnership on the sidelines of Africa Food Summit on ‘Food Sovereignty and Resilience’. The summit, which started on Wednesday, was co-hosted by the Government of Senegal and the African Development Bank.
Bringing together African heads of state, ministers of agriculture, ministers of finance, central bank governors, private sector operators, farmer organizations and development partners, the summit is mobilising high-level political will and financial resources for food and agriculture delivery compacts.
President Adesina said right from the start the summit had seen a strong commitment to addressing the need for additional funding in the agriculture sector of African countries. Adesina said Mission 1 for 200 would provide a strong support and financing mechanism for African governments. "This landmark initiative will foster innovative agricultural ventures to boost food production, enhance efficiency within a framework of enhanced market dynamics and sustainable food systems, spur policy changes, and tap into co-financing opportunities through collaboration with other development partners, drawing on the expertise of both institutions,” Adesina said.
IFAD president Lario said only investments in agriculture that supported small-scale farmers would get Africa out of a “worrying downward spiral of crisis after crisis”. “Strategic investments will boost agricultural productivity, they will build food sovereignty and they will pave the way for a more equitable distribution and access to food, bringing opportunities for all,” Lario said.
By leveraging the investments by both IFAD and the African Development Bank Group, Mission 1 for 200 will mobilise additional financing from innovative and non-traditional donor sources as well as private sector investors. The initiative will build on the momentum around climate adaptation and mitigation to approach green funds and climate funds as a long-term supportive solution.
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