African Development Bank (AfDB) says it has put plans in place to avert potential food shortages arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The bank stated that 40 million farmers in Nigeria and Africa will receive financial support worth $1 billion from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
AfDB said the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has the potential of creating a food crisis, considering the $4 billion trade Africa has with Vladimir Putin’s country is 90 percent of wheat. Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB’s president, said the fund would help 40 million African farmers utilise climate-resilient technologies and increase their output of heat-tolerant wheat varieties and other crops.
“If there was ever a time that we needed to really drastically raise food production in Africa, for Africa’s food security and to mitigate the impact of this food crisis arising from this war, it is now.”
Adesina said the risks are particularly acute in Africa, where about 283 million people were already going hungry before the onset of the war.
But for Nigeria, where wheat is the third most consumed grain, the protraction of the war could be catastrophic.
By the end of Q3 2021, the data from the NBS showed that Nigeria imported durum wheat and mackerel worth N88.46 billion and N30.69 billion, respectively, from Russia.
Durum wheat is used for bread-making, and it is the second most cultivated specie of wheat after common wheat.
According to AfDB, the plan is to increase the production of wheat, rice, soybeans, and other crops to feed about 200 million Africans.