Heads of State have been asked to increase their mobilization avenues for funds from both the public and private sectors to address the threats to food security on the African continent.
The move will reduce reliance on donor support in the food transformation agenda, so they can take charge of the food system transformation as national security for poverty alleviation and rural development.
The funds will help the countries close the investment gap required to trigger or sustain Africa’s agro-food transformation, with a focus on the requisite human, institutional and systemic capacities and capabilities that are required to achieve agro-food system transformation at scale.
Those are some of the recommendations, by the 2022 Africa Agriculture Status Report, an annual publication by Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), focusing on emerging issues in Africa.
The report released on Tuesday, September 06, during the ongoing Africa Green Revolution Summit in Kigali, is running under the theme “Accelerating African Food Systems Transformation”.
The report estimates that Africa will need close to $40b to $77b annually from the public sector and up to $180b in private sector funding to address issues in Agriculture.
“With the private sector expected to play a critical role in filling the financing gap, public sector funding is expected to play the role of de-risking and incentivizing private sector capital into agriculture,” adds the report.
And once the funds are collected, these should be invested in public infrastructure and policy and innovative financing mechanisms to meet evolving financial needs.
Such needs according to the report include blended finance, supply chain financing through digital solutions, partial credit guarantees, risk sharing facilities, fintechs and crop receipts, among others.
The report follows the pledges that were made at the UN Food Systems Summit in September 2021, setting a scene for a deeper introspection on the policy implications for sub-Saharan African countries.
Officiating at the launch of the report, AGRA’s President, Dr Agnes Kalibata noted that a combination of the after-effects of the pandemic and the Ukraine conflict have led to the elevation of food prices thus exacerbating food insecurity in the continent.
“The AASR22 reflects on key actions that urgently need to repurpose food policies to address the emerging challenges affecting conditions, outcomes and behaviour of our food systems, without compromising the economic, social and environmental fundamentals,” said Kalibata.
It calls for locally-led integrated action that brings together key sectors of the economy that are central to food systems, including health, environment, agriculture and education, and is aligned to national needs and priorities.
The AASR22 was launched at the 12th annual AGRF Summit that brings together heads of state and government, agriculture ministers, members of the civil society, private sector leaders, scientists and farmers in discussions that define the future of Africa’s food systems. The summit is running under the theme Grow. Nourish. Reward – Bold Actions for Resilient Food Systems.