The President of the African Development Bank, AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina, has announced that the AfDB-supported programs in over 30 African nations have helped produce $12 billion in food, while adding that the bank’s $25 billion target is “well on track.”
“As far as I’m concerned, we shouldn’t be talking about food security in Africa more than five years from now. There’s no reason for it,” he told Reuters. “We have the technology and the financing to do it at scale.”
Speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings in New York, Adesina emphasised the use of special agroindustrial processing zones, which in Nigeria alone might expand from eight to 35 states following a recent request.
These zones, he said, are rural locations where infrastructural investment will allow food and agribusiness enterprises to thrive.
He noted that “Twenty-seven more states in Nigeria made a request to us to continue to support them in this particular area,” Adesina said.
According to the AfDB, undernutrition and stunting impact 216 million children in Africa, and poor nutrition is connected to over half of all child fatalities on the continent.
It calculates the economic impact of poor nutrition to be 11% of Africa’s GDP.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, one of the world’s major grain producers, in February 2022 shook global grain markets, jeopardizing food supply for some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, including many in Africa.
The collapse of an agreement to transport Ukrainian food across the Black Sea and the emergence of El Nino weather have contributed to the world’s food security difficulties.