Lagos, Nigeria | Xinhua | The African Development Bank (AfDB) said it has approved 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to help African countries avert a looming food crisis.
In a statement made available to Xinhua on Friday, the bank said Africa now faces a shortage of at least 30 million metric tons of food, especially imported food such as wheat, maize and soybeans due to the disruption of food supplies arising from the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
The bank said African farmers urgently need high-quality seeds and inputs before the planting season begins in May to immediately boost food supplies.
According to the bank, the 1.5 billion dollars African emergency food production facility is an unprecedented comprehensive initiative to support smallholder farmers in filling the food shortfall.
It added that the facility will provide 20 million African smallholder farmers with certified seeds, noting that it will increase access to agricultural fertilizers and enable them to increase production of food.
“Food aid cannot feed Africa. Africa does not need bowls in hand. Africa needs seeds in the ground and mechanical harvesters to harvest the bountiful food produced locally. Africa will feed itself with pride, for there is no dignity in begging for food,” said Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB.