The summit is being held under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic of Senegal and the Chairperson of the African Union Macky Sall, the Government of the Republic of Senegal and the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, under the theme 'Feed Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience.'
The high-level summit, which held its first round in 2015, aims to develop a strategic roadmap for agricultural transformation in Africa to build a solid and sustainable agricultural sector for food and nutrition security, youth employment, poverty alleviation, and rural transformation across the continent.
The participants also called for increasing private sector investments in the fertiliser industry amid the ongoing food crisis the world is facing as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and supply chain disruptions.
During a CEO-level roundtable held on Thursday titled 'Private Sector Investment in Agribusiness,' President of the Ferme de la Teranga and member of the Club of Senegalese Investors Gora Seck said that small farmers in Africa need to be supported by providing access to finances, extending tax incentives, and availing training, all of which would ensure the quality of final products, which would subsequently contribute to cost decreases.
Meanwhile, Vice President of ETG Birju Patel asserted the importance of both government and private sector investments in such a sector, as well as investing heavily in climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts and tackling corruption that hampers private sector work.
Despite having 65 percent of the remaining arable land to feed 9 billion people globally by 2050, Africa imports over 100 million metric tons of food at the cost of $75 billion annually, while it has the potential to feed itself and contribute to feeding the world, according to the AfDB.
Africa's vast savannah areas alone are estimated at 400 million hectares, of which only 10 percent (40 million hectares) is cultivated, according to data the bank group showcased at the event.
As per the bank's estimations, investing in raising agricultural productivity, boosting infrastructure, and climate-smart agricultural systems, with private sector investments all along the food value chain can help turn Africa into a breadbasket for the world.
On Thursday, the presidents of the AfDB Group and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) signed a letter of intent regarding the joint 1 Mission for 200 Initiative (M1-200) that targets doubling the productivity of 40 million African farmers and producing 100 million metric tons of food and feed 200 million people through developing sustainable agriculture and food systems.
Through this initiative, the AfDB and IFAD partnership is expected to catalyse and mobilise additional finance for agriculture development in Africa as well as attract additional financing from innovative and non-traditional sources.
Mission 1 for 200 will also take advantage of the momentum around climate adaptation and mitigation to approach green funds and climate funds as a long-term supportive solution.
During the second day of the summit, President of IFAD Alvaro Lario announced the Fund’s new commitment of $3 billion over the coming three years to support food systems on the continent.