WEBINAR: Challenges and Opportunities for Smallholder/ Family Famers in Africa during and post COVID-19

Recording forthcoming
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and various measures taken by the Governments to safeguard the spread of virus, including restriction of movements of people and goods have been affecting the food and agriculture sector in Africa. The Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC) 2020 published by Global Network Against Food Crises and Food Security Information Network showed that 73 million people in Africa were already acutely food-insecure in Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) due to conflict/insecurity, weather extremes, desert locusts, economic shocks before the global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is high risks that COVID-19 pandemic might further worsen the situation if no urgent and effective actions are taken.

There is substantial evidence that policy actions taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 have led to disruptions in food supply chain in Africa. Such actions, including road blocks and sanitary checks have led to losses of in quality or to complete damage of perishable products and to the accumulation of non-perishable products, closing slaughterhouses also resulted in losses. As countries enter into harvesting and post-harvest handling season in Eastern and Southern Africa and into planting season in Central and Western Africa, it is of paramount importance to ensure the timely access by smallholder/ family famers and produces to productive assets including land and water, both input and output market, as well as finance and agricultural extension services, while ensuring the safety and social distancing measures of agri-food value chain actors.

Farmers Organizations/ Cooperatives, Rural Institutions, and Civil Society will play indispensable roles 

  • to provide necessary support and above-mentioned services to the members, in particular, smallholder farmers, youth and women; 
  • to advocate and bring up voices of millions of smallholder/ family farmers/ producers to policy makers, monitoring situation, identifying bottlenecks and proposing solutions and also to share best practices which could be replicable, adaptable to the contexts and scale-up across the countries.

Building on the discussions during the Africa Regional Civil Society Consultation organized autonomously and independently by the Civil Society in Africa with support by FAO last February 2020, as well as the CSM Webinar: Learning about the COVID-19 crisis in the CFS held on April 15, 2020, this webinar will provide an opportunity to bring the Civil Society in Africa and discuss challenges and opportunities for smallholder/ family farmers/ producers in Africa during and post COVID-19, as well as share the best practices to respond to the crisis and beyond.

Opening remarks:

  • Mr. Abebe Haile-Gabriel, Assistant Director-General/ Regional Representative for Africa, FAO  
  • Mr. Lisandro Martin, Director of the West and Central Africa (WCA) Division, IFAD

Challenges and Opportunities for Smallholder/ Family Famers in Africa during and post COVID-19

  • Ms. Fatma Ben Rejeb, CEO, Pan African Farmers Organization (PAFO)
  • Mr. Ibrahim Coulibaly, President, (Réseau des organisations paysannes et de producteurs de l’Afrique de l’Ouest) ROPPA
  • Mr. Naseegh Jaffer, General Secretary, World Forum of Fishers People (WFFP)
  • Mr. Adoum Djibrine AHMAT, Secretary General, Confédération des Organisations Professionnelles des Pasteurs et Acteurs de la Filière Bétail au Tchad (COPAFIB –TCHAD)
  • Mr. Elom Zogan, Secretary General, La Coordination Togolaise des Organisations Paysannes et de Producteurs Agricoles (CTOP), Togo
  • Moderated by Ms. Racheal Kalaba, Pan Africa Coordinator, Mouvement International de la Jeunesse Agricole et Rurale Catholique (MIJARC)

Resources:

As part of the United Nations Decade for Family Farming (2019-2028) and in order to support the promotion of digital for agriculture, the FARMTRAC project supports the development of the regional platform “Farmersconnect”. 

WECONNECTFARMERS is a digital agriculture platform launched at the Farmers Forum hosted by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Rome in February 2020. It is developed as a digital agriculture  platform in the context of the Family Farming decade in West Africa (2019-2028) .
This participatory platform connects farmers and young agripreneurs together to share good practices, modernize agriculture and break the digital divide.
The repository platform is divided into 4 levels: (i) exchange, community of practice and trainings; (ii) data analysis: big data from (production, weather, economy, satellite images) from international and local organisations; (iii) agritech apps accessible from smartphones. These apps cover all agriculture and livestock sectors and can help your business; (iv) market place and economic intelligence for farmers.
The platform is managed by different institutions (farmer organisations, telecom operators, research institutes, etc.) and volunteers from projects and farmers organisations in each country covered, starting with West and Central Africa.
  • This platform will help millions of farmers, professional agricultural organizations and the private sector to effectively use technology in their daily lives. 
  • It will allow small farmers to be better known and to be easily accessible through their peasant organizations and directly through the Internet.

The project targets:

  • Beneficiaries of IFAD-funded projects in West and Central Africa;
  • 100,000 development practitioners;
  • Private sector actors (farmers’ organizations and cooperatives, unions of transporters and traders, etc.);
  • The key players involved along the main value chains and trade corridors in West and Central Africa.

YenKasa Africa is a regional platform promoted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Farm Radio International (FRI), and the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) to enhance knowledge and experience sharing in communication in support to agriculture and rural development in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

It encourages communication, development and community media practitioners based in Africa to share initiatives and resources on rural communication, enhance local capacities, establish fruitful collaborations at the regional level and advocate for communication in the rural sector.
  • YenKasa Africa intends to promote the creation of a dynamic and interactive platform of communication bringing together local community radios, media professionals, communication and development practitioners, academicians as well as civil society organizations in order to strengthen local capacities and collaboration. 
  • The main goal of YenKasa Africa is to further in regional communities the role of communication for agriculture and rural development, with special attention given to issues related to family farming, sustainable natural resources management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, disaster risk reduction, food security, gender mainstreaming, agricultural innovation and remote access to the information via ICTs.
The Fidafrique Group / IFAD Africa (facebook public group) is an online space that offers IFAD stakeholders and partners in Africa a means of collaboration, discussion, networking and knowledge sharing (4,000 members in May 2020). 
You can join the group with this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fidafriqueifadafrica/

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