Speaking to Reuters, AFBD President Akiwumi Adesina said the bank’s $25 billion objective is “well on track.”
"As far as I'm concerned, we shouldn't be talking about food security in Africa more than five years from now. There's no reason for it," he said.
"We have the technology and the financing to do it at scale," he added.
Russia's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, one of the world's top grain exporters, sent tremors through global grain markets, threatening food supplies for some of the most fragile nations, including many in Africa.
The emergence of the El Niño weather pattern and the breakdown of an agreement to transport Ukrainian food through the Black Sea have added to global distress on food security.
Speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings in New York, Adesina pointed to the uptake of special agro-industrial processing zones, which in Nigeria alone could expand from covering eight states to 35, after a recent request. Those zones are rural areas targeted for infrastructure investment that allow food and agribusiness companies to move in.
"Twenty-seven more states in Nigeria made a request to us to continue to support them in this particular area," Adesina said.
The AfDB says under-nutrition and stunting impact 216 million children in Africa and poor nutrition is linked to nearly half of the continent's child deaths. It pegs the economic cost of bad nutrition at 11% of Africa's gross domestic product.