Did You Know: Africa 60% Of The World’s Unused Arable Land

by Business Watch Team

Despite the challenges posed by the climate crisis, Africa holds tremendous potential to become the world’s breadbasket.  The opportunities and challenges facing Africa’s food systems are immense.

The continent possesses 60 percent of the world’s unused arable land and has the potential to accelerate agricultural productivity by 2 or 3 times. Additionally, Africa can create a food market worth USD 1 trillion by 2030.

However, it must address the dual challenge of escalating food and nutrition insecurity impacting nearly 300 million people while grappling with the intensifying effects of the climate crisis.

Recognizing that agriculture and food systems are major levers for Africa’s green growth, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), in collaboration with the AGRA launched Re-Gain, a groundbreaking regional program that will support Africa in realizing its promise as a food production powerhouse.

Announced at the African Heads of States Food Systems Session at COP28, this initiative will enhance African smallholders’ access to technologies, make food loss reduction solutions more accessible and affordable, and support the creation of enabling environments for transitioning food systems.

With project preparation funding from GCF to support the development of the program, GCF and AGRA will work together in designing and implementing an initiative to leverage over USD 100 million in financing to support the wide-scale adoption of food loss solutions, in partnership with the private sector.  Already, a group of countries including Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia have joined this initiative, and further participation is expected in subsequent phases.

The financial support will enable partners and participating countries to conduct necessary diagnostics and consultations, align programs with country priorities and climate science, and deliver meaningful impact to African smallholders.

This initiative is on track to become the first project developed through GCF’s pilot Project Specific Assessment Approach (PSAA). PSAA is a new funding modality that aims to streamline and broaden access to GCF resources by working with new partners, countries, and technologies, that have been underserved by the existing GCF Accredited Entity network.

“GCF is proud to partner with AGRA on this important initiative that will address the pressing challenges of food security in the context of climate change in Africa.  The program demonstrates ambition, accelerates action, and strengthens partnerships that will ultimately improve the well-being and livelihoods of smallholders, their families, and communities.  As the first program to come out of PSAA, a new modality that aims to increase access to GCF funding, it is a reminder of GCF’s commitment to accelerate climate financing for the most vulnerable.” said Mafalda Duarte, GCF Executive Director.

“Underestimating the repercussions of food loss can inadvertently downplay its profound effects on the critical issue of food security. This program is timely in expediting innovative solutions for the various dimensions of food loss, from post-harvest losses to supply chain inefficiencies at both the national, regional, and international levels.” Said Dr. Agnes Kalibata, AGRA President.

“Addressing post-harvest losses requires a multi-faceted approach that includes investments in infrastructure, technology dissemination, and the creation of effective market linkages. With proper investment and partnership amongst key stakeholders, it is possible to empower African smallholders, enhance food security, and contribute to the overall economic development of the region,” said H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and AGRA Board Chair.

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