The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $11.7 million budgetary allocation to the African Fertiliser Financing Mechanism (AFFM) as a way to support African farmers.
Development Diaries reports that the bank also validated AFFM’s 2023 programme of activities which include strengthening Africa’s fertiliser sector through access to finance.
AFFM’s activities also include supporting the development of sustainable policy reforms to improve fertiliser production, trade and use, and facilitating access to inputs and technical assistance for smallholder farmers.
It is understood that the approval adds up to $16.4 million extended to the facility to support its 2023 budget. It includes $4.7 million, which was carried over from the previous year.
According to the bank, the AFFM will facilitate smallholder farmers’ access to inputs and extension services through credit guarantee projects and capacity building for farmers and input distributors.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in a 2022 report, noted that in 2021, 52 percent of employed people in sub-Saharan Africa were active in agriculture.
It also said roughly 45 percent of the world’s area suitable for sustainable agriculture production expansion was located in Africa, but the lowest agriculture productivity per worker rates were found within the continent.
Growing food insecurity in the continent has detrimental effects on development, endangering millions of people’s livelihoods and making it very challenging to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It is imperative that African governments and their development partners look for ways to manage the current crisis and deal with the more fundamental reasons for food insecurity in the continent.
Photo source: AfDB