LAGOS — The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Thursday said the cost of bread is now beyond the reach of many households in Africa due to food price increases caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, said in a statement on Thursday that Ukraine exports 40 percent of its wheat and corn to Africa, and 15 African countries imported more than half of their wheat and much of their fertilizers and oil from Ukraine and Russia.
Adesina said the economic shocks from the Russian-Ukraine war are causing Africans to pay more to put food on the table.
“The magnitude of food price increases and trade disruptions caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict have hit Africa harder than other developing regions,” he said.
The AfDB chief said this is threatening to topple the continent’s food systems, already stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that the Russia-Ukraine conflict is also a huge factor in fertilizer price hikes in the continent.
“Our analysis is that Africa faces a fertilizer shortage of two million metric tonnes this year,” he said.
“If we do not mitigate this shortage rapidly, food production (in Africa) will decline by at least 20 percent,” he added.
He said the bank had developed an Africa Emergency Food Production Plan of $1.5 billion to be used to support food production in African countries. – Xinhua