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AfDB marks World Food Day focusing on role of women and youth in agriculture

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The African Development Bank Group joined the international community in celebrating the World Food Day in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on Thursday, October 16 on the theme, “Investing in Women and Youth is Key to Feeding Africa.”

“We are working on flagship programmes, among others, that will support women and youth engagement in agriculture,” the Director of the Bank’s Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department, Chiji Ojukwu, said in a statement.

The African Development Bank has and continues to support agricultural transformation and food security in Africa, mainly through investment operations, with commitments amounting to USD 11.48 billion in the past 50 years, the statement said.

He added that the current focus has been on agriculture infrastructure development aimed at promoting integrated value chains and enhancing market access, as well as protecting the environment and building resilience amongst vulnerable communities.

“Please spare some thoughts today, in concordance with the rest of the world to reflect on how the Bank, working with other partners, will continue its efforts in support of this very important sector, and how these collective efforts will continue to feed the world, and Africa in particular,” the statement said.

The 2014 World Food Day theme – “Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth” – has been chosen to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farmers. It focuses world attention on the significant role of family farming in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.

The 16th of October was declared by the UN General Assembly as World Food Day in honour of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in November 1945. The day aims to achieve the following:

  • Heighten public awareness of world food and nutrition problems;
  • Strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty;
  • Attract attention to accomplishments in food and agricultural development; and
  • Enhance the participation of rural people, particularly women, in decisions and events impacting their living conditions.

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