Pierre van Hedel, Managing Director of the Rabobank Foundation, will oversee this year’s EMRC-Rabobank Project Incubator Award, which will spotlight some of Africa’s most inventive and groundbreaking agricultural projects, offering the winner a cash prize of US$15,000.
In the run up to the AgriBusiness Forum 2013 and the award, Pierre van Hedel says, “I am interested in seeing good initiatives. And every year we see more and more projects for the EMRC-Rabobank Project Incubator Award competition, which makes it exciting and makes our commitment to the forum even more valuable.”
This year’s forum is entitled “The Agri-Food sector: A Catalyst for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in Africa” co-hosted by EMRC and Rwanda’s Ministry of Agriculture & Animal Resources, in collaboration with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Rabobank Foundation, in addition to the likes of LR Group, Amiran Kenya and with the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation as the forum’s Knowledge Partner.
An advocate and expert on agriculture and finance in Africa, Pierre van Hedel believes that, “It should always be a bottom up instead of top down approach. On a practical level individual farmers and agricultural producers should combine their products and by that combination form an asset. ”
The US$15,000 cash prize provides a much needed cash injection for the winner to further implement and grow the business which is one of the fundamental raison-d’être of the AgriBusiness Forum; bringing the public and private sector to drive businesses and to promote inclusive growth for Sub-Saharan Africa’s Agri-Food value chain. The Project Incubator Award is critical as it sheds light on potentially lucrative business ideas and projects and most importantly encourages partnership opportunities across Africa.
Previous winners have come from Uganda, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire and beyond. Without exception, their win has transformed their projects and garnered significant interest from funders, regional experts, international media and international organisations. As last 2012 winner, Lovin Kobusingye head of Kati Farms, clearly states one year later, “I encourage everyone to stand up and decide now to be part of this event as soon as possible. They will have no regrets!” She adds, “It has helped us to gain publicity as a credible company. We are now viewed as important stakeholders in the fisheries sector and this would not have been easy to achieve without the Project Incubator Award.”
The AgriBusiness Forum will showcase the key issues currently underpinning the Agri-Food sector and discuss expected objectives and business projections, in addition to an entire afternoon dedicated to B2B meetings (tailor-made one-on-one business meetings). Some 400 professionals from across the world, representing international agricultural experts, Government officials, multinationals, farmer and private sector associations, donor organisations, civil society, investors and financiers representing Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas will participate to discuss on-going projects, best practices and strategic policies with the aim of establishing investment and business partnerships for the Agri-Food sector, a pivotal sector for the entire continent’s growth.
Previous winners include:
In 2012, Lovin Kobusingye head of Kati Farms, Uganda. To read more about her project, please click here.
To read about her exploits one year after her win, please click here
In 2011, Everlyne Cherobon head of Emeden Kenya. To read more about her project, please click here.
In 2010, Maria Odido head of Bee Natural, Uganda. To read more about her project, please click here.
In 2009, Mathias Adou Kouakou & Fabien Yao Zogalou COOGES, Côte d’Ivoire. To read more about their project, please click here.
To read the full interview of Rabobank Foundation’s Managing Director, Pierre van Hedel, please click here.
Interested candidates are invited to register for the AgriBusiness Forum and to submit their business ideas, by the 15th of September 2013 that embody the inherent entrepreneurship and innovation of the African continent. To register for the AgriBusiness Forum 2013 please visit www.emrc.be