Dr Pascal Sanginga of the @AfDB_Group sharing insights on climate-smart agriculture. Seated are Dr Thuita Thennya, Director, of Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies, and Prof Patrick Verkooijen @PVV_GCA, GCA’s Chief Executive Officer.

NAIROBI — The African Development Bank (AfDB) will dedicate greater resources to promote climate-smart agriculture in the continent, tackle food insecurity and boost rural incomes, a senior official said Tuesday.

Pascal Sanginga, the regional sector manager for Agriculture and Agro-Industries at AfDB, said the lender has earmarked additional funding to ensure African smallholder farmers have access to skills, technology and inputs required to withstand climatic stresses. 

The Pan African lender has committed to earmark an average of 2 billion U.S. dollars annually in the near term to promote climate-smart agriculture in the continent through irrigation, water harvesting, enhanced market linkages, infrastructure upgrade and access to improved seeds. 

“As we strive to support Africa to become food sufficient and more resilient, the mainstreaming of green growth in our funding portfolio and investments has taken center stage,” Sanginga said during a forum on promoting climate adaptation for smallholder agriculture in the eastern African region through leveraging digital tools held in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

Senior policymakers and researchers from 13 East and Horn of African States attending the forum discussed innovation and digital tools that can be adopted at the smallholder level to strengthen the resilience of food systems in the face of an unfolding climate crisis. 

Convened by the AfDB and the Global Center on Adaptation, an international organization working as a solutions broker to accelerate action and support for adaptation solutions, the forum will also foster knowledge and experience sharing in order to boost the uptake of climate-smart farming practices in a continent reeling from hunger and malnutrition linked to recurrent droughts.

Sanginga noted that the lender’s flagship initiatives such as Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) launched in 2018 have scaled up access to climate-smart agricultural technologies in diverse agroecological zones in the continent. 

An estimated 12 million African farmers have produced 25 million metric tons of food since the launch of the initiative which has facilitated the seamless provision of technologies that promote climate-resilient cultivation of key staples, Sanginga said. 

He added the just concluded Dakar Summit on Food Sovereignty, held in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, on Jan. 25-27, generated new momentum toward climate-resilient farming in the continent as a means to overcome poverty, hunger and malnutrition. – Xinhua