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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

2 Million Metric Tons Of Fertilizer Deficit Loom – AfDB

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By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has raised the alarm that there may be a fertilizer crisis in Africa which will cause about 2 million metric tons deficit.

Adeshina made this disclosure during a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he also announced the provision of $1.5 billion for the Africa Emergency Food Plan to mitigate the effect of Russia-Ukraine war which is expected to trigger a global food crisis.

At the meeting, Adesina hinted President Buhari on the steps taken by AfDB to avert a food crisis in Africa, explaining that already, the price of wheat has gone up about 60%, while maize and other grains will also be affected.

Said he; “Already, the price of wheat has gone up about 60%. Maize and other grains will also be affected. There may be fertilizer crisis, as there would be about 2 million metric tons deficit. And that will affect food production by about 20%. Africa will lose $11 billion worth of food, and coming shortly after COVID-19, that would be rather serious.

“The AfDB had developed a $1.5 billion Africa Emergency Food Plan, which is now before the bank’s Board for approval.

“We were not ready for COVID-19, but we are now planning to avert food crisis on the continent. There is plan to help farmers cultivate wheat, maize, rice, sorghum, and soybeans. It will mitigate the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war,” Adeshina said.

He also explained that at least 5 million smallholder farmers would be helped to cultivate 1 million hectares of maize, 1 million hectares of rice, and 250,000 hectares of sorghum and soybeans, respectively during the rainy season.

Adeshina, while speaking also assured President Buhari that AfDB will support to help Nigeria to produce 9.5 million metric tons of food, just as he disclosed that the states that will benefit from the assistance include: Kano, Ogun, Oyo, Kaduna, Imo, Cross River, and the Federal Capital Territory.

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