Pre-summit AGRF 2021

 6 September 2021. AGRF 2021 Summit. Pathways to recovery and resilient food systems (see the full programme). Below are some highlights of the pre-summit

Unlocking African PDBs catalytic role (for increased investments in sustainable food systems) 

By IFAD. 
The potential of African Public Development Banks (PDBs) in catalyzing investments forsustainable food systems was assessed. Moreover, the event examined challenges, opportunities, best practices, and experiences of PDBs and relevant players in catalyzing and channeling more public and private finance to transform food systems in Africa.

  • Mr. Remy Rioux Chief Executive Officer, Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
  • Hon. Aichata Toure Mme Cisse Director of Operations, National Bank for Agricultural Development, Mali
  • Ms. Atsuko Toda Director for Agricultural Finance and Rural Development, African Development Bank (AfDB)
  • Ms. Antonella Baldino Chief International Development Finance Officer, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP)
  • Mr. Nadjirou Sall President of the National Council for Consultation and Cooperation of Rural People (CNCR)
  • Mr. James Marc de Sousa Shields Lead Technical Specialist, Rural Finance & Markets, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Intra-African agricultural trade within the context of the AfCFTA

by FAO / AUc and the AfCFTA Secretariat. The side event discussed and highlighted the challenges encountered including emerging innovations and opportunities during implementation of the AfCFTA in the agricultural sector since trading under preferential arrangements started on 1 January 2021. 

  • Mr. Ziad Hamoui Executive Director of Transport and Operations at Tarzan Enterprise Ltd
  • Dr. Blaise Ouattara Quality Officer, Regional Office for Africa (RAF), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
  • Mr. Gerald Masila Executive Director, Eastern Africa Grain Council
  • Dr. Suffyan Koroma Senior Policy Officer, Food and Agricultural Organisation
  • Ms. Beatrice Gakuba Executive Director, African Women in Agribusiness Network Ltd, AWAN – AFRIKA
  • Dr. Janet Edem Head, Rural Development Division in the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (DARBE) of the African Union Commission
  • Mr. Komla Bissi Senior Adviser to the Secretary General, AfCFTA Secretariat
  • Dr. David Luke Professor in Practice & Strategic Director, London School of Economics, Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa

Women inclusion in resilience of agricultural value chains

by IDRC. Three different research projects in three African regions (East, West and North) shared knowledge on how multi-stakeholders’ approaches can be used to gain better understanding on the importance of a stronger role of women farmers and their families in the food systems and in key commodities value chains within the system.

  • Ms. Julie Crowley Regional Director, West & Central Africa, International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
  • Dr. Edidah Lubega Ampaire Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
  • Prof. Redouane Choukrallah Professor and Head of the Salinity and Plant Nutrition Laboratory, Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Hassan II
  • Ms. Grace Nanyonjo Gender Specialist & Coordinator, Karamoja, National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO)
  • Dr. Andrew Wardell Principal Scientist, Value Chains, Finance and Investment & Principal Investigator , Globalizations, IDRC
  • Ms. Mercy Ruii Program Officer, Africa’s Future, International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Building resilient food systems

 By IFAD. This session identified the role of the private sector, farmer organizations, government, and development partners in transforming the agriculture and food systems in Africa.

  • Mr. Matthew Ingram Senior Project Manager at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA)
  • Ms. Elizabeth Nsimadala President, Panafrican Farmer’s Organisation (PAFO)
  • Mr. Natwijuka Brian Managing Director, Robran Holdings Limited
  • Dr. Jyotsna Puri Director, Environment, Climate Gender, Youth, Nutrition and Social Inclusion Division (ECG), International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Dr. Christine M. Ciccone Special Advisor for the UN Food Systems Summit, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • Dr. Godfrey Bahiigwa Director, Agriculture & Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission
  • Dr. Jemimah Njuki Director for Africa, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) & Leader, Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, United Nations Food System Summit (UNFSS)
  • Dr. Donal Brown Associate Vice-President, Programme Management Department, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Effective instruments for innovation investment

By: Commission on Sustainable Agriculture Intensification (CoSAI). A recent study by CoSAI revealed that only 7% of the investment in innovation in the Global South has explicit environmental outcomes and only half of that had clear social objectives. The session explored a cohort of instruments, with a focus on understanding the contexts in which they have been used effectively, enabling validation of preliminary findings and suggestions for further evidence.

Agro Knowledge food security solutions

By Growing-Smart Agriculture. The Practical Agriculture Courses offers a comprehensive approach to teaching agricultural production. The PAC program is based on a “train the trainer” concept, where Israeli agronomists teach local candidates to be trainers, enhancing their knowledge and teaching skills.

  • Mr. Roy Peleg Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Growing Smart

E-Extension: Accelerating Building Back Better – Exploring successes in digital advisory services and e-extension systems

Farm Radio International. E-Extension services have a direct contribution to increased capacity to generate, analyze and use data and innovations.

The Role of Collaborative Food Systems Leadership In Tackling Sector Implementation Challenges

By AGRA’s Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA) and the African Food Fellowship
A first panel discussed the role of collaborative leadership which bring together Permanent Secretaries as the chief technical experts from government, as well as key representatives from the private sector and state delivery mechanisms to discuss  progress in achieving national agriculture priorities. A second panel explored new forms of leadership in agri-food systems that can accelerate systems-level change across Africa. 

  • Dr. Agnes Kalibata President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
  • Prof. Hamadi Boga Principal Secretary, State Department for Agricultural Research in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, Kenya
  • Hon. Dr. Mandefro Nigussie Chief Executive Officer, Agricultural Transformation Agency, Ethiopia
  • Dr. Fadel Ndiame Deputy President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
  • Dr. Jolly Dusabe Policy Programme Officer & Lead, Youth Engagement in Food Systems, World Food Program
  • Ms. Nachilala Nkombo Country Director, Zambia, World Wide Fund
  • Mr. Victor Mugo Co-chair, Youth Liaisons Group, UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), Regional Coordinator – CSAYN & Nourishing Africa
  • Dr. Nungari Mwangi Strategy Officer, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) & Lead, Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA)
  • Ms. Eunice Khaguli Dean, African Food Fellowship & Senior Manager, Food Systems and Inclusive Growth, Wasafiri Consulting
  • Dr. Joost Guijt Knowledge Manager, Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen University & Director, African Food Fellowship
  • Ms. Waithera Nganga Horticulture Fellow, African Food Fellowship
  • Dr. Brenda Shenute Namagumya Advisor Facilitating Stakeholder Partnerships, Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation
  • Mr. Thierry Ngoga Head of State Capability, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
  • Biography
  • Dr. Jochen Harnisch Head of Division, Agriculture, Water and Biodiversity, KfW
  • Prof. Siza Tumbo Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Tanzania
  • Hon. Jean Claude Musabyimana Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda
  • Dr. Apollos Nwafor Vice President for Policy and State Capability, AGRA
  • Christabell Makokha Head of Partnerships & Innovation Lead, Aceli Africa
  • Ms. Belinda Bwiza Deputy Country Director, One Acre Fund Rwanda
  • Mr. Vincent Aduramigba-Modupe Centre Director, Africa, International Nitrogen Initiative & Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training
  • Dr. Richard Mkandawire Africa Director, Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) & Chairperson, Malawi’s National Planning Commission

Positioning African Youths to Transform Food Systems Through Technology

Heifer International’s 2021 survey report. The Future of Africa’s Agriculture: An Assessment of the Role of Youth and Technology(68 p.), reveals that “smallholder farmers will embrace advanced technologies if the tools are affordable, and they can receive training in how to use them.” The report reveals the urgency of new investments to stimulate access to financing and technology innovation as a means to rejuvenating Africa’s food systems and develop economic opportunities. 

By IFAD and AGRA. The South-South and Triangular Cooperation event highlighted innovative solutions from the youth that are transforming the agri-food sector in Africa; and provide a platform to tackle some of their existing challenges.

Science & innovation for sustainable and resilient food systems in Africa

ONE CGIAR. This panel focused on the roles of science, research, and innovation in sustainable and resilient food systems for Africa. The session concluded by drawing together proposals and recommendations for One CGIAR to deliver its commitments to Africa.

  • Mr. Peter Ballantyne Consultant, Communications and Knowledge Management, International
    Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

  • Ms. Cynthia Mugo Policy and Stakeholder Engagement Advisor, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
  • Dr. Claudia Sadoff Managing Director, CGIAR
  • Dr. Harold Roy-Macauley Regional Director, East and Southern Africa, One CGIAR
  • Dr. Nteranya Sanginga Regional Director, West and Central Africa, One CGIAR
  • Dr. Abdullahi Ndarubu Chief Operating Officer, Harvestfield Industries Ltd
  • Dr. Martin Fregene Director, Agriculture and Agro-Industry, African Development Bank (AfDB)
  • Dr. Emma Naluyima Smallholder Farmer & Veterinarian, Africa Food Prize 2019 Laureate, Uganda
  • Ms. Nono Sekhoto Lead, African Leadership for Agribusiness Network
  • Dr. Juan Lucas Restrepo Director General, Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
  • Dr. Naglaa Abdallah Professor in the Faculty of Agriculture & Coordinator for the BSc Biotechnology Program, Cairo University
  • Mr. Aly Abousabaa Regional Director, Central and West Asia and North Africa, One CGIAR & Director General of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

Digital Financial Services for Agriculture

AFEX & Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN). This session discussed the adoption of digital financial services for agriculture, within the context of the challenges it can solve and the huge potential for scalable outcomes that will improve our food systems.

One-Health Approach for Building Resilience

By IFADThis event discussed the opportunities, strengths and main hampering factors for the implementation of the One Health approach (OHA) in the Africa. 

Technology brokerage for a resilient food system in Africa

Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT).  Recent successes in implementing the AFDB’s TAAT programme reveal that increased investments in innovative technologies and brokerage can boost agricultural productivity, with important results for the overall strength of food systems.

Livestock Investment Masterplan (LIVEMAP)

AfDB & ILRI. The LIVEMAP provides a comprehensive framework to shape investment in the livestock sector, and help African countries sustainably raise the productivity, resilience, and profitability of livestock systems, create inclusive employment along the value chains and contribute to food and nutrition security. LIVEMAP website: https://livestockinvestmentmasterplan.info/

  • Dr. Martin Fregene Director, Agriculture and Agro-Industry, African Development Bank (AfDB)
  • Dr. Iain Wright Deputy Director General, Research & Development–Integrated Sciences, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).
  • Ms. Tsigereda Fekadu Tullu Director of Poultry Development Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopia
  • Hon. Aly Saleh Diop Minister of Livestock and Animal Production, Senegal
IFAD. The Rural Development Report (RDR) is IFAD’s flagship research publication focuses this year on food systems transformation for rural prosperity and it is due for release right before the Food Systems Summit. 


Key highlights of the report were shared, such as the importance of adopting a food systems approach, the key challenges and driving factors, opportunities for transformation, investments, innovation; implications for the environment and the importance of not leaving anyone behind. Some of its key authors from IFAD and the University of Wageningen participated as well as other key researchers.
  • Dr. Romina Cavatassi Lead Economist, Research and Impact Assessment Division (Impact Assessment Cluster), International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Prof. Ruerd Ruben Emeritus Professor, Impact Analysis of Food Systems, Wageningen University
  • Dr. Tomaso Ceccarelli Senior Researcher, Wageningen University
  • Prof. Sara Savastano Director, Research and Impact Assessment Division, International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Dr. Leslie Lipper Fellow, Cornell University, Technical Advisor, Ceres 2030 & Senior Advisor, IFAD
  • Dr. Jim Woodhill AgriFoodNexus Consulting/Oxford University/Institute of Development Studies

Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (Oil Palm and Cocoa Value Chain Development)

SAO GROUP. The Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (oil palm and cocoa value chain) are areas of high agricultural potential located across the south-western states in Nigeria with a focus on the oil palm and cocoa value chain.

Soil and Root Health: How Can they be Enhanced to Tackle Climate Change, Food Insecurity and Malnutrition? 

Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture/Syngenta

The session shared the latest thinking on soil and root health and how to understand and tackle the challenges, and lay out prospective pathways for individual institutional and collective action at a significantly enlarged scale in future.

Distributed Renewable Energy-Agriculture Modalities (DREAM)

Rockefeller Foundation. Learning from the experience of Ethiopia in clustering agricultural production and piloting the use of renewable energy towards production, post-harvest management and agro-processing, and India in linking agriculture production with renewable energy mini-grids for strengthened agriculture value chains. 

Forging resilient food systems with smallholder farmers and agri-SMEs

AMEA & Harvest Plus. Examples were presented from the extensive portfolio from HarvestPlus and the AMEA Network.

Trade Support Information Systems

AgFlow SA. Promoting agricultural solutions for local and international commodity purchases to supply local agricultural value chains is key to building interconnected African Markets. 

New Consensus for Smallholder Farmers

SDG2 Advocacy Hub.  The UNFSS, N4G and COP26 are opportunities to coordinate action to invest in smallholders’ health, livelihoods, productivity and sustainability. Recent reports, including Ceres2030 and the CAADP Biennial Review, global and regional initiatives provide a roadmap. In the absence of a clearly articulated policy consensus across diverse stakeholders, however, these efforts compete for resources and fail to achieve the collective impact needed. 

  • Ms. Mwandwe Chileshe Global Citizen Campaigner
  • Hon. Barrow Kebba Programme Officer, The Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (TANGO)
  • Mr. Emmanuel Ngore Coordinator, Partnerships and Networking, CAADP Youth Network (CYN)
  • Ms. Mary Afan President, Small scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON)
  • Ms. Carin Smaller Director, Agriculture, Trade & Investment, for the Economic Law and Policy program, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
  • Dr. Greenwell Matchaya Senior International Researcher, Economics, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
  • Hon. Godfred Seidu JasawMember of Parliament WA EAST Constituency, Upper West Region, Republic of Ghana
  • Mr. Muchiri Nyaggah Co-founder & Executive Director, Local Development Research Institute (LDRI)
Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA). This session described the Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity’s integrated approach to advance climate and nutrition sensitive agriculture by sustainably increasing incomes, productivity and market access for smallholder farmers.
  • Ms. Laurence Mukamana Deputy Chief of Party, Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze Project, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA)
  • Mr. Jean de Dieu Umutoni Director of Business, Market, and Finance Development, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA)
  • Dr. Telesphore Ndabamenye Embedded Advisor, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Agriculture Policies and Strategic Planning, Rwanda
  • Ms. Margaret Anderson Program Director, Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA)

Kenya’s Pathways to Sustainable Food Systems

Agriculture Transformation Office, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries & Cooperatives – Kenya. In preparation for the 2021 Food Systems Summit, a series of subnational dialogues were held across Kenya. 

Agricultural Transformation for Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems

BIFAD, USAID, AAP, ReNAPRI, World Bank and the AFDB. Discussion drew from country case studies and recent evidence, including work commissioned by BIFAD, a World Bank publication, and an AfDB report, on linkages between agricultural productivity, economic transformation, and resilience.

Rehabilitating acid soils for food security in Africa

CIMMYT. This event highlighted the status of the acidic soils and the impact on the productivity on the continent and especially in East Africa. 
Rockefeller Foundation / IKEA Foundation. This session explored various experiences and approaches towards food system policies that are integrated and transformational.

Youth and Agri-food System’s Resilience in Africa

Michigan State University (MSU). This session discussed evidence-based and pragmatic approaches that could foster productive youth engagement supportive of resilient agri-food systems in Africa.

  • Dr. Richard Mkandawire Africa Director, Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) & Chairperson, Malawi’s National Planning Commission
  • Dr. Felix Kwame Yeboah Assistant Professor, International Development, Michigan State University
  • Ms. Mwaka Mupe Founder and CEO of Fieldarc Global
  • Dr. Adewale Oparinde Founder and CEO of EZ-farming
  • Prof. Kevin Urama Senior Director, African Development Institute / OIC Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management Complex (ECVP), African Development Bank Group
  • Dr. Chinwe Effiong Assistant Dean, Global Youth Advancement Network
  • Prof. Louise Fox Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute

AU-EU Game Changer for Resilient Food Systems  

By Wageningen University & Research, on behalf of LEAP4FNSSA project. The AU-EU Platform is an opportunity for all stakeholders to raise their voice for the transformation they want. Peer reviewed evidence and innovation is the basis for developing policies. Knowledge management systems can make this information easily accessible.
  • Dr. Kwesi Atta Krah, IITA
  • Nienke Buisman, EC/DG Research and innovation
  • Nana Adjoa Sifa, entrepreneur Guzaguza, Ghana
  • Dr. Sadrack Muephuli, member AU-EU High Policy Dialogue
  • Ammad Bahilim, BMGF

Insights: What food systems do we want?

Insights was a moment for voices with diverse points of view to comment on the day’s activities and bring their insights to the Program. Reflections at end of each day bringing together the varied tracks into common themes and results. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact us
If you are interested or have any questions, send us a message.
I am very interested
Send Message