Monday, 16 November 2009

Stakeholders' workshop on the preparation of the agriculture sector strategy for the AfDB

13 November 2009. Tunis. The African Development Bank held a Stakeholders' workshop on the preparation of the agriculture sector strategy for the AfDB.

In response to the global food crisis, the Bank Group established the African Food Crisis Response (AFCR) Task Force in July 2008 to address the food insecurity in its RMCs. The task force has provided a framework for accelerated support to RMCs affected by escalating food prices. Its interventions are designed to reduce the risk of increased poverty on the continent in the short term and to ensure sustainable food security in the medium to long term.

The Bank’s proposed short term responses cover a one-year period. Four specific short term responses were proposed:
  • Realignment of the existing agriculture portfolio with the aim of boosting food production. This measure comprises agriculture and non agricultural projects;
  • Use of budget support instrument for quick disbursement of resources to RMCs;
  • Increased dissemination of NERICA rice seeds; and
  • Allocation from the Bank’s Surplus Account (UA 20 million).
  • These short term measures have resulted in the Bank’s global approval of UA 416.54 million, UA 255.16 million of which is already disbursed.
The Bank’s medium to long term measures meanwhile will from 3 - 6 years The AFCR proposes seven approaches aiming at improving food security while taking advantage of the high food prices:
  • Improved rural infrastructure;
  • Operationalizing the African Fertilizer Financing Mechanism;
  • Increasing NERICA rice production;
  • Capacity building, policy dialogue and trade promotion;
  • Scaling up private sector operations for food security;
  • Promoting agricultural research, and
  • Establishing a Crisis Response Facility. Gender mainstreaming and addressing climate change are core guiding principles identified under the AFCR.


Related: 11/11/2009 “Africa has to change ways of doing things in agriculture and to recognize the global winds of change for the sector,” Bank Group Operations Evaluation Officer, Detlev Puetz, said on Tuesday 11 November 2009 in Addis-Ababa, during a presentation on the theme: Facing the financial crisis: The imperative of regional action for agriculture in Africa. In the presence of more than 150 conference participants, Mr. Puetz developed key theories on new paths for agricultural finance development. Experts Reflect on Imperative of Regional Action for Agriculture in Africa