Realising the Promise of Agriculture for Africa’s Transformation

Realising the Promise of Agriculture for Africa’s Transformation

4 April 2014.  Brussels. Brussels Development Briefing on ‘Realising the Promise of Agriculture for Africa’s Transformation’. This 36th Briefing was timed to coincide with the 4th Africa-EU Summit, and the panel was organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the European Commission and the AU Commission.

Panelists:

  • Ousmane Badiane, Director of Africa, IFPRI: Main drivers for African agriculture and structural transformation
  • Abebe Haile Gabriel, Director of Rural Economy and Agriculture, African UnionCatalyzing Agricultural performance for the continent through improved partnerships
  • Paulus Verschuren, Special Envoy for Food and Nutrition Security, The NetherlandsZero hunger, zero malnutrition: what does it imply?
  • Joergen Ole Haslestad, CEO, YARANew momentum for leveraging private investments in African agriculture
  • Theo de Jager, President, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural UnionsLinking farmers to agribusiness for job creation and entrepreneurship development
  • Frank van Ooijen, Director Sustainability, FrieslandCampinaEfficient and sustainable supply dairy chains for improved nutrition and health
  • Daniel Gad, Managing Director, Omega Farms & Ethiopian Horticulture Co-operative: The role of African private sector in the development of agribusiness

CTA’s 30th Anniversary Celebration
Launch of the Book “Stories of Change: Transforming Lives through Agricultural and Rural Development”

Michael Hailu, the Director of CTA said:

“In recent years, there has been a lot of optimism about Africa Rising. With the majority of the world’s fastest growing economies, increasing foreign investment, less conflict and more democracies than at any other time in the continent’s history, the optimism is well-justified. However, we still face major challenges. Among these is the fact that agriculture remains an unattractive option for many of our young people in rural areas. To absorb some of the 11 million young people entering the labour market every year in Africa, agriculture must become a growth sector, a source of prosperity and a global business. As agriculture is modernised, many new specialised jobs are created… jobs that are particularly well-suited to well-trained youth. But it must capture their imagination. And to do this, we must transform the image of agriculture from a low-paying, tedious occupation to one that is profitable, modern and respectable.”

He emphasised that a major priority was attracting investment into agriculture.

“Through the CAADP process, encouraging progress has been made in mobilising domestic and international resources (both financial and technical) in support of agricultural investments. However, a lot more needs to be done to transform African agriculture to a more profitable and sustainable pathway. Real change in African agriculture depends not only on improved seeds and additional fertilisers. It requires greater investment in research and innovation so that more of Africa’s agricultural growth comes from productivity increase rather than land expansion. It also depends on integrating smallholders into value chains, on access to finance, on sustainable management of natural resources and on creating an enabling environment for smallholder agriculture to grow and flourish, with strong institutions in place to support it.”

Senior representatives of private sector companies, involved in the provision of agricultural services and financial solutions, were enthusiastic about the prospects for new business in Africa’s growing agricultural sector.


PAEPARD question on machinery research @ 01:28:33 in the conference video Answer from Theo de Jager, President, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions @ 01:55:45 in the conference video Answer from Daniel Gad, Managing Director, Omega Farms & Ethiopian Horticulture Co-operative (The role of African private sector in the development of agribusiness) @ 02:03:56 in the conference video (need for European know how on branding, packaging, technology) Answer from Abebe Haile Gabriel, Director of Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Catalyzing Agricultural African processing capacity @ 02:07:40 in the conference video (investment in technology research and capacity of product transformation)

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