Private sector called on to reignite Africa’s agriculture through partnerships, investment and technology.
“The private sector, thanks to its investments and know-how, can provoke the most important transformation in Africa’s agriculture and in parallel can bring rural agriculture to achieve better outputs”, Moussa Seck, President of the Pan-African AgriBusiness and Agro-Industry Consortium (PanAAC) explains in the lead up to the pan-African AgriBusiness Forum 2012 entitled ‘“Boosting Africa’s Agriculture through Partnership, Investment and Technology”, which will be held this year in Dakar, Senegal from 25-28 November 2012.
Mr. Seck adds, “Across all countries, the private sector constitutes the driving force of economic growth. Senegal’s agricultural sector as well as the rest of Africa is still looking for ways to be auto-sufficient. Commercial agriculture is still lagging and agricultural productivity needs to be increased. But the most important remains the budget allocated to agriculture, which needs to be significantly augmented, so that it allows for a boost in the investment in equipment and in rural areas.”
Mr. Seck’s remarks come at a time when the global community is focused on using the know-how of the private sector to achieve sufficient agricultural output for the world’s growing population. Africa can and must play a leading role in this front line to feed the world.
To achieve this, Partnership, Investment and technology have been spotlighted as the main themes of this year’s forum, officially hosted by the Government of Senegal and opened by Senegal’s President Macky Sall and bringing together over 400 participants which will include the sector’s major figures, renown experts, industrialists, financiers, donors, SMEs, small hold farmers as well as multinationals and civil society partners. Co-organised by EMRC, UNDP, co-organisers of AgriBusiness Forum 2011 in Johannesburg and PanAAC, and in collaboration with FAO, the Rabobank Foundation, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and Amiran Kenya, the AgriBusiness Forum 2012 provides a platform for the private and public sector and civil society to present their visions and goals. To allow for more business to happen, an Agricultural Exhibition named ‘Along the Value Chain’ will take place, where companies and governments will present their produce and services; the B2B sessions with pre-arranged meetings will guarantee an environment conducive to launching new partnerships.
According to Mr Seck, the main hurdles facing Africa are a lack of investment and technology (irrigation, for example) and the lack of political will to increase the budget allocated to agriculture to 10 %, as was agreed upon by the African Governments several years ago in the “Maputo Declaration”. Africa is situated in the middle of the world, between 40° parallel North and 40° parallel South, and it can produce all the plants in the world twice a year because the continent is divided in two hemispheres, forming an exact image of the world. Africa is the only continent today to have this particularity and paradoxically the only one with a chronic food shortage. The solution can be found in the potential and the future of the continent.
The AgriBusiness Forum 2012 will be tackling these issues head on with sessions ranging from How the Agri-Food sector has contributed to the rapid growth of Africa’s GDP and what still needs to be done; Innovative Partnerships for an innovative Agri-Food Sector to New technologies to improve production and productivity to reduce post-harvest losses and Opportunities for Youth in Africa’s growing Agribusiness sector.
To read Mr. Seck’s full interview – please follow this link
To register for the AgriBusiness Forum please visit www.emrc.be
For more information on partnership and speaking opportunities, please contact:
Caterina Giuliano, EMRC Sr Programme Manager
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EMRC’s mission is to lead the private sector in Africa to sustainable economic development and to drive regional change via partnerships. Established in 1992 in Brussels, EMRC is a non-profit International Association composed of a network of entrepreneurs, financiers, consultants and officials based throughout the world.
PanAAC is a private sector driven platform bringing together agribusiness and agro industry Value chains and support services to enable them access information, knowledge, strategic partnerships and financial remediation. PanAAC’s constituents comprise of input suppliers, producer organizations, processors and packagers, logistic providers, wholesalers, retailers, financiers, exporters, and business development providers
UNDP is the UN’s global network to help people meet their development needs and build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working as a trusted partner with Governments, civil society and the private sector to help them build their own solutions to global and national development challenges. Further information can be found at www.undp.org.
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