African governments need to lead and coordinate domestic and external efforts to urgently and holistically tackle food insecurity on the continent, according to a new report launched in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, Tuesday.
The 2022 Africa Agriculture Status Report by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) was released at the ongoing Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) summit being held under the theme “Accelerating African Food Systems Transformation.”
The report showed that Africa’s investment needs to trigger and sustain agro-food transformation range from 40 billion U.S. dollars to 77 billion U.S. dollars every year from the public sector, and up to 180 billion U.S. dollars in private sector funding.
“African governments need to assume a leadership role in food system transformation as a national security, poverty alleviation and rural development agenda that cuts across various institutions, while reducing reliance on donors who have been directing flows of international assistance,” the report said. “Accelerating agro-food transformation in a sustainable and inclusive way is an extremely complex task. It requires an integrated approach, which draws heavily on the cooperation of system actors, with African governments driving the process that facilitates the required change.
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The report stressed that addressing the vulnerability of Africa’s food systems requires political will and leadership. It also emphasized the urgent need for inclusive, equitable, sustainable and resilient growth in the agricultural sector, while acknowledging the intensification of major drivers of recent food insecurity trends in Africa.
Agnes Kalibata, AGRA’s president, said that a combination of the after-effects of the pandemic and the Ukraine conflict has led to the elevation of food prices which have exacerbated food insecurity on the continent.
“The report reflects on key action areas required to tackle the most urgent and important areas in response to these challenges. There is an urgent need to repurpose food policies to address the emerging challenges affecting conditions, outcomes and behavior of our food systems, without compromising the economic, social and environmental fundamentals,” said Kalibata.
The AGRF summit is an annual gathering 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.
This year’s summit is seeking to find catalytic solutions to grow the coordinated and large-scale action by stakeholders across multiple sectors, nourish innovations and cultivate country solutions that will translate the commitments made into actionable strategies.