With much of the Summit’s opening session – titled Building Coherent Global Governance for Food Security – focusing on the largely nascent African agriculture industry, Her Excellency Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union, revealed Africa offers rich investment potential for strategic public-private sector partnerships to increase agricultural yields:
“At present, the African agriculture industry is predominantly green-field and 95 per cent of agricultural land in Sub-Saharan Africa is rain-fed, not irrigated. As a continent, Africa is utilising only three per cent of its irrigation potential – there are significant investment opportunities.”
His Excellency Felix Koskei, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Kenya, added:
“Sub-Saharan Africa is a place where agriculture underperforms – yet it is a region of undisputed potential. The Middle East is perfectly positioned to capitalise on the engine of prosperity that is African agriculture by exploring and exploiting opportunities to invest in food security solutions which benefit both producers and exporters.”
With sustainable policies and strategies top of the Summit agenda, Quintin Gray, Agricultural Counsellor, Office of Agriculture Affairs, USDA, revealed five factors he believes should form the foundation of any international food security strategy.
“By 2050, the global population will be over nine billion strong and food demand will increase by 60 per cent,” said Gray. “To tackle this critical issue, we need a sufficient agriculture workforce to incentivise our youth to stay on the farm; we must maximise production on arable land; we must invest in new technologies to increase production; we must explore feasible and sustainable solutions to climate change-related issues, such as water supply; and we must improve the value chain to reduce post-harvest crop losses and waste. These five areas are of paramount importance when exploring food security policy.”
Extract of the programme:
INVESTMENT HUB – Building a roadmap to transfer African agro-investments into a profitable enterprise
How can Africa balance between Gulf agro-investments needs and obligations towards the environment and their people?
- What are the challenges for foreign investors in Africa and how can they be resolved?
- How to get big projects off the ground in places where infrastructure is a major challenge