Agribusiness investments in partnership with farmers’ organisations in ACP countries

Agribusiness investments in partnership with farmers’ organisations in ACP countries

14-15 October 2015, Milan, Italy. High Level Conference and Workshop organised by the European Commission, in partnership with African Union Commission, the ACP Secretariat, the Pan African Farmers Organisation (PAFO), the European Investment Bank, the COLEACP and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).

Investments by agri-business in partnership with farm organisations to add value to agricultural products are crucial to access market opportunities. The event built on examples of:

  • agri-business investments and development;
  • success stories and lessons learnt on gaining access to regional and international markets for farmer organisations in ACP countries;
  • joint EU agri-business & ACP farmer organisations investments;
  • identification of trade obstructions and investment needs (certification, SPS issues etc.);
  • inclusive value chains.

The debates channeled around three main themes:

  1. Increasing farm incomes by investing in value adding of agri-food chains. To create decent jobs and bring sustainable growth, value needs to be added to the agricultural products. The workshop focused on showcasing successful examples of 1) value chain management developed and driven by farm organisations, 2) strategies for value addition and marketing initiatives for youth and women. It also will examine access to finance for value chain investments for ACP and EU agri-businesses and farm organisations. 
  2. Facilitating trade and market access for agricultural products. Agricultural trade is part of the solution. The EU is committed to supporting developing countries to integrate into the world’s trading system and share in the benefits of the global economy. A better trading system will assure quality standards, improve value adding and market transparency, and ultimately raise incomes for farmers in countries of origin. The conference focused on agri-business and agricultural dialogues in the context of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) that provide a necessary stable and predictable framework for responsible agri-food investments and agricultural trade. 
  3. Responsible agri-business investments – a better matchmaking itinerary for agri-business and farmers’ organisations in EU and ACP Countries. Responsible investments in agriculture are more important than ever if the sector is to meet the great challenge of feeding the world in a sustainable way. Farmers and agri-businesses need access to agricultural finances, need to boost trade and value adding for key commodities, need a more conducive business environment for private sector investments. The conference  focused on how to better shape this partnership, make it more inclusive and sustainable.

The results of the conference will guide European Commission’s future activities in this area.

Read the programme: 14 October [3 MB]
Speakers and Moderators: 14 October  [730 KB]
Workshop 3 Financing to facilitate agribusiness investments. 
Facilitator: Ms Heike RÜTTGERS, Head of Division, ACP Policy and Portfolio, European Investment Bank (EIB)
Rapporteur: Ms Jacqueline CHURCH, Policy Officer, Institutional Strategy Department, European Investment Bank (EIB)
Presentation of case studies

  • FEFISOL Microfinance Fund, Kenya, Ms Jane MAINA, Managing Director of VERT, Ms Caterina GIORDANO, Alterfin 
  • Finance project for agribusiness, Nigeria, Mr Chukwuma Ikechukwu EZEDINMA, National Programme Officer, UNIDO Nigeria Office 
  • NUcafe, Uganda, Mr David MUWONGE, Deputy Executive Director, Mr Vincent MULINDWA, Farmers’ Leader, Ms Josien SLUIJS, Director NpM, Platform for Inclusive Finance

15 October [3 MB] Speakers and Moderators: 15 October [744 KB]
Way forward to a common vision for agribusiness investments in partnership with farmers’ organisations in ACP Countries

  • Main findings of the workshop day, Professor Jo SWINNEN, Development Economics, KU Leuven Ms Rhoda Peace TUMUSIIME, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union 
  • Mr Ishmael SUNGA, Chief Executive Officer, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), South Africa 
  • Mr Alan JAGOE, President of the European Council of Young Farmers, CEJA 
  • Mr Phil HOGAN, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Mr Pim VAN BALLEKOM, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB)
  • Ms Marike DE PEÑA, Chair of the Board of Fairtrade International 
  • Mr Philippe SCHOLTÈS, Managing Director of Programme Development and Technical Cooperation Division, UNIDO 
  • Mr Stephen MINTAH, Chairman of COLEACP 
  • Mr Neven MIMICA, European Commissioner for International Development and Cooperation 
  • Mr John CLARKE, Deputy Director General (ff), Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

COLEACP was involved in:

  • the setting up of one of the three technical workshops of day 1,”Investing in value added agri-food chains for sustainable and inclusive development“ (click here to see the main outcomes)
  • as a panel speaker at the high level political seminar on day 2 “Way forward to a common blue-print for agribusiness investments in partnership with farmers’ organisations in ACP Countries”

Below some of the perspectives shared by the panel speakers during the debate hosted by the two European commissioners on day 2. Based on the outcomes of the day 1 which mobilised 150 participants who had actively brainstormed. The COLEACP chairman spoke alongside both Commissioners.

“(…) Our job as policymakers is to provide farmers and agri-businesses with the right tools.” Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

“(…) Commissioner Mimica, with COLEACP you have a ready – to – use EUROPEAN/ACP network organization from the private sector, civil society and public bodies fully in line with your strategy of engaging the private sector.” Stephan Mintah, COLEACP Chairma

“(…) new sustainable development agenda up to 2030. Delivering on that agenda means that we all – public authorities and private entities, civil society, international organisations – have to work closely together to maximise impact.” Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development

Read the full article with more quotes and videos on the COLEACP website

The video starts at 2:15
Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development @ 3:17:45 
Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development @ 4:45:18

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