This year’s summit of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) will take place next September in Kenya.
The meeting usually brings together stakeholders from the agricultural sectors to share lessons that aim to move agriculture forward in Africa.
During a press conference on the upcoming event in Nairobi, AGRF Chairman Hailemariam Desalegn said Kenya’s private sector will have the opportunity to showcase some of the innovations they have developed and the country’s advances towards sustainable food systems.
Jennifer Baarn, Head of Partnerships AGRF. Courtesy photo
He said that before the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 690 million people, or 8.9 percent of the world’s population, were undernourished and if this trend continues, the undernourished will exceed 880 million by 2030.
Two billion people, or 25.9 percent of the world’s population, were starving at the same time, Desalegn said, adding that it means there is not enough food and therefore shows the importance of agriculture to the global community.
“We have strayed from the path of making the commitment to end hunger by 2030. Food security statistics are not encouraging and we need a new approach that will mobilize resources to eradicate hunger without zeroing out public and private investment. “Hunger,” he added.
The former Ethiopian Prime Minister said that in order to attract investment in the Kenyan private sector, the agribusiness dealroom provided during the forum is an opportunity for Kenyan businesses.
“Those looking for investors can share their investment needs with over 50 global investors interested in African agriculture. Over the past three years, more than 300 African companies have had combined investment needs of over $ 1.4 billion, ”he said.
Desalegn said Kenya remains a beacon of success for the agricultural sector and the 2021 AGRF Summit will be another opportunity for the world to see what progress Kenya has made.
He urged the private sector to work with AGRA and AGRF to take the opportunity to demonstrate Kenya’s leadership in agriculture and seek investors to invest in Kenyan companies.
“Africa’s leading private sector has a role to play in investing to support farmers’ access to the right yield-enhancing technologies (seeds, fertilizers and crop protection chemicals), finance, markets, post-harvest technologies, irrigation and mechanization services,” Desalegn said.
Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, said Africa should move away from being synonymous with hunger as we are not a starving continent and we are the best resources in the world, hard working people and the best private sector ever to have.
“Kenya will bring the whole world to Kenya at this upcoming meeting, and our goal in food systems is to recognize that our environment also requires that we pay attention to what we do and that we cannot just produce food and do business without it to recognize. ”that the environment collapses under the weight we put on it.
She added that the forum aims to build political will and advance the policies, programs and investments necessary to achieve inclusive and sustainable agricultural transformation across the continent.
“The forum is working specifically to help African countries and the continent to make continuous progress towards the visions of the Malabo Declaration and the related Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa – To achieve Agenda 2063, “Kalibata said.
Jennifer Baarn, Head of Partnerships AGRA, is expecting 500 participants and 10,000 participants from 150 countries from September 7th to 10th.
“The forums will look at value chain development, SME development, business models for farmers and transactions that help smallholders. If we don’t support smallholders and SMEs, we will fail in the agricultural transformation, ”she said.
According to the latest FAO report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World in 2020, we are straying from the road to making the commitment to end hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition by 2030.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as unprecedented desert locust outbreaks in East Africa, obscured the economic outlook in ways no one expected, and the situation could only get worse if Africa does not take unprecedented action.
By Wangari Ndirangu