The Green Climate Fund (GCF) and AGRA have launched a $100 million financing initiative to support ongoing efforts to improve food security in Africa and make the continent the world’s major food producer.
Launched at the African Heads of States Food Systems Session at the ongoing COP28 in Dubai, the initiative dubbed Re-Gain, will enhance African smallholders’ access to technologies.
The initiative will also work to make food loss reduction solutions more accessible and affordable, as well as support the creation of enabling environments for transitioning food systems. Already, a group of African countries including Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia have joined this initiative, and further participation is expected in subsequent phases.
A statement from AGRA explained the financial support will enable partners and participating countries to conduct necessary consultations, align programmes with country priorities and climate science, and deliver meaningful impact to African smallholders.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the world’s largest climate fund dedicated to supporting developing countries. AGRA is an African-led institution that puts smallholder farmers at the centre of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive, into a business that thrives.
Executive Director of GCF Mafalda Duarte said; “GCF is proud to partner with AGRA on this important initiative that will address the pressing challenges of food security in the context of climate change in Africa.” She said the programme demonstrates ambition, accelerates action, and strengthens partnerships that will ultimately improve the well-being and livelihoods of smallholders, their families, and communities.
AGRA President Dr. Agnes Kalibata said; “This programme is timely in expediting innovative solutions for the various dimensions of food loss, from post-harvest losses to supply chain inefficiencies at both the national, regional, and international levels.” “Underestimating the repercussions of food loss can inadvertently downplay its profound effects on the critical issue of food security,” she added.
Despite the challenges posed by the climate crisis, Africa is said to hold tremendous potential to become the world’s breadbasket. The continent possesses 60% of the world’s unused arable land and has the potential to accelerate agricultural productivity by 2 or 3 times.
Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn told the forum; “with proper investment and partnership amongst key stakeholders, it is possible to empower African smallholders, enhance food security, and contribute to the overall economic development of the region.”
He also said addressing post-harvest losses on the continent is key to ensuring food security. He called for a multi-faceted approach that includes investments in infrastructure, technology dissemination, and the creation of effective market linkages, to deal with the problem.