Retool annual budgets toward agriculture production and expand food reserves, urges ADI seminar

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African countries need to urgently expand food reserves, keep food supply flowing and boost their agriculture budgets to avert a possible hunger pandemic, partly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, delegates at a two-day webinar hosted by the African Development Institute (ADI) urged.
Africa must now, more than ever, develop and implement policies to enhance capacity to compete in the agriculture sector, processing, trade and industry, the speakers said in a clarion call for action.
Noting that COVID-19 has fast-tracked the transition to the 4th Industrial Revolution era, participants also called on African governments to scale up technology for agriculture production, including private sector-led initiatives, to build resilience and grow the sector to self-sufficiency.
The webinar, titled, Building Resilience in Food Systems and Agricultural Value Chains: Agricultural Policy Responses to COVID-19 in Africa, examined the pandemic’s impacts on Africa’s agri-food systems and offered policy recommendations to make them more resilient and efficient.
The dialogue, which drew 770 experts from 57 countries, was the second in a series ADI organised under its Global Community of Practice (G-CoP) to provide evidence-based policy guidance to African Development Bank Group member countries.