FAO Extols USA’s $50m Funding to Boost Food Production in Africa

FAO Extols USA’s $50m Funding to Boost Food Production in Africa

Gilbert Ekugbe

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has commended the United State of America for its commitment to pledge a $50 million new funding to boost food production in Africa.

In a statement obtained from its website, FAO said the $50 million is an addition to the $100 million committed earlier in the year.

According to the statement, the new funding is for the innovative Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (VACS) programme, which aims to identify and develop neglected but climate-resilient crops for use in agriculture around Africa.

The U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken announced the new funding at the Leaders’ Event tagged, “Transforming Food Systems in the Face of Climate Change,” at the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai.

“We are working with partners to rethink what, where and how we produce food within the context of a changing climate. Our goal is for farmers and for ranchers to be able to sustainably achieve better yields of more nutritious crops at lower cost, using less land and producing fewer emissions. That’s the vision,” Blinken said.

“And it is also the mission of the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils, or VACS,” which the U.S. State Department launched in partnership with FAO and the African Union a few months ago,” Blinken added.

The FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torero, said these fresh new resources will greatly help to accelerate a very promising programme that could have rapid and lasting impact on the ground.

Currently around one in five people in Africa face chronic hunger, and the climate crisis is likely to exacerbate the situation. Revitalizing indigenous and traditional food crops, many with high nutritional value but orphaned with the increasing popularity of staples such as maize, rice and wheat, presents a critical opportunity, according to FAO.

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