Africa needs $614bn to Tackle Food Insecurity – IFAD

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Africa would require $614 billion in total by 2030, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, to solve the continent’s growing food insecurity problem and reform the food system.

In a paper titled “Financing Food Systems Resilience in Africa: A Starting Point for Transformation,” Satu Santala, the Associate Vice President for External Relations and Governance at IFAD, disclosed.

He urged increased funding for and investments in the continent’s food systems, as well as new ideas that would refocus on equitable outcomes, generate employment, and maximize the potential of Africa’s youth.

He claims that during the conflict in Ukraine, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) started a Crisis Response Program to safeguard 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 observed that the degree of commitment was much lower than the demand for IFAD’s work and funding.

He said that IFAD would make the investment case to its member states later this year in order to scale up through the fund’s upcoming 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.

The impact of global shocks, he continued, was one of the key factors contributing to the fragility of Africa’s food systems and the urgent need for more investment in food security.

Remember that in 2021, more than one in five people in Africa will be chronically malnourished, making Africa the region with the worst hunger problems.

According to reports, the situation has gotten worse due to the conflict in Ukraine and the growing dire effects of climate change.

He claimed that the regional teams of the agency had predicted that the cost of food, fuel, and fertilizer will double by 2021 levels.

“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.”

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.”

Investing in agriculture, as opposed to investing in any other area, is demonstrably more effective at reducing poverty, according to studies cited by IFAD.

“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.”

More importantly, it brought attention to the fact that prosperous rural economies provided chances for respectable employment.

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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