Development partners commit $30 billion to food production in Africa

FILE PHOTO: Freshly harvested eggplant bags are loaded on a cart at a field of farmer Mor Kabe, on the outskirts of Notto Gouye Diama village, Thies region, Senegal January 24, 2023. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

DAKAR (Reuters) - Development partners have committed $30 billion to boost food production in Africa over the next five years, said Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, during closing remarks at a food security summit on Friday.

The three-day summit in Senegal's capital Dakar brought together African leaders, development banks and international partners including the United States, the European Union and Britain to mobilize funding and political commitment.

The major theme was that African countries need to boost their food production capacity, rather than relying so heavily on imports which have left them vulnerable to price spikes and shortages.

The continent is facing its worst food crisis ever, with more than one in five Africans – a record 278 million people – facing hunger, according to United Nations estimates.

Heavy debt burdens from the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, which raised prices of fuel, grain and edible oils, have added to long-term causes of food insecurity such as climate change and conflict, experts say.

(Reporting by Bate Felix; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Alexander Winning)

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