The International Fund for Agricultural Development has stated that Africa needs a cumulative sum of $614bn by 2030 to address its rising challenge of food insecurity and transform the food system.
The Associate Vice President for External Relations and Governance, IFAD, Satu Santala, disclosed in a report titled “Financing food systems resilience in Africa: A starting point for transformation”.
He called for more finance and investments in Africa’s food systems, innovations that reorient towards fairer outcomes, create jobs and harness the potential of Africa’s youth.
According to him, in the wake of the war in Ukraine, IFAD launched a Crisis Response Initiative to protect the livelihoods and productive assets of small-scale farmers.
“Bringing more and fairer investments into African food systems requires innovation
and commitments from governments, the private sector, and international partners.
“This is where I see room for leaders to focus their attention. New research indicates that transforming African food systems is estimated to require $77bn a year until 2030–$614bn in total,” he explained.
Santala noted that the demand for IFAD’s work and financing was far greater than the level of commitment.
He revealed that IFAD would be presenting the investment case to its member states later this year to scale up through the fund’s next replenishment.
“By taking a medium- to long-term development perspective, leaders can target the root, underlying causes of food insecurity and build resilience to future shocks.
“Doing this successfully in Africa would be a huge step in ending global hunger and transforming food systems globally. IFAD will continue to champion this cause,” he reiterated.
He added that IFAD emphasised that one of the major factors causing the fragility of Africa’s food systems and the pressing need for increased investment in food security was the effect of global shocks.
Recall that Africa is the region worst affected by hunger, with more than one in five people chronically under-nourished in 2021.
Based on reports, the war in Ukraine and the increasingly severe impacts of climate change have worsened the situation.
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He stated that the agency’s regional teams had projected a doubling of food, fuel, and fertilizer prices compared to 2021.
“This threatens to undermine food security and agricultural productivity in the present, and recovery in the future. Small farms deserve particular
“The vast majority of Africa’s farms are under two hectares and account for most of the food consumed by the continent’s most vulnerable population,” Santala added.
The body stated that a humanitarian response was essential, but it was not a long-term solution. It added, “The financing gap between long-term resilience building and short-term emergency food assistance is significant and rising.
“This undermines the ability of poor rural people to cope with future shocks. We need to tackle the underlying factors of food insecurity to avoid recurring crises, and to tap into Africa’s significant potential to produce food for itself–and for others.”
According to IFAD, studies show that investing in agriculture is significantly more
effective in reducing poverty than investment in any other sector.
“Through our work on the ground, we see that investing in fair and sustainable food
systems can transform small-scale farms into sustainable agribusinesses. This builds local production capacity and improves Africa’s food sovereignty. It creates jobs along the value chain, particularly in processing, transport, and marketing,” it claimed.
More so, it highlighted that when rural economies were thriving, they offered opportunities for decent work.
It further asserted, “Migration becomes a choice, not a necessity, and the foundation is laid for better livelihoods, resilience, and peace.
“We are working on innovations in food systems financing, including with the World Bank, and significantly scaling up partnerships with the Green Climate Fund.”
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