Africa: Investments in irrigation, key to prevent food crises – IFPRI

Peace Kanu, Abuja

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The International Food Policy and Research Institute, IFPRI says massive investment in irrigation and improving food system links are esssencial to make Africa’s agriculture and food systems more resilient to food crises.

This is according to the IFPRI 2019 Global Report on Food Crises which states that around 33 million people from 10 countries in Africa experienced acute hunger in 2018 due to conflict and political instability.

The brief which was prepared by experts from IFPRI, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided three concrete recommendations for the G20 in three priority areas of action:

“Studies by IFPRI have shown the enormous potential of small-scale schemes to increase irrigation in Africa South of the Sahara by up to 30 million hectares. This would extend the growing season and provide year-round incomes for poor farming households and smallholders. The surplus production would result in rapid growth of the agriculture sector and help transform African economies,” It stated.

The brief also proposed that the G20 and the African Union call on multilateral financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank, to set up financing schemes to help governments and farmers with the necessary funding.

Peace PIAK