African Green Revolution Forum to focus on new models and technologies bringing together smallholder farmers and agribusinesses

Maputo summit will also take stock of progress in the decade since landmark AU agreement on agriculture

Maputo, 4 September 2013 – The African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) opens today in Maputo, bringing together over 150 leading figures and experts, including African heads of state, ministers, farmers, business leaders, NGO representatives and scientists.

The Forum – organised by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and partner organisations – will focus on “scaling up and financing inclusive agribusiness through transformative public private partnerships”. Over the next two days, delegates will work together in a series of structured workshops to identify models to incorporate smallholder farmers into commercial agricultural value chains, and focus on developing innovative finance models that can stimulate growth.

The Forum takes place 10 years after 40 African countries, convened by the African Union, signed the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security, committing at least 10 percent of their national budgets to agriculture development.  The summit provides an opportunity to take stock of progress over the last decade.

H.E. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union, a sponsor of the AGRF, says: “Ten years ago, African leaders made a commitment here in Maputo to commit greater funds to develop agriculture and increase food security on the continent. We must use this Forum to remind leaders of the critical importance of that commitment and their continued support to agriculture. The African Union welcomes this timely discussion around strengthening the role of public-private partnerships within the framework of the AU’s Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program. 2014 has been declared by the African Union as the Year of Agriculture and Food Security. It will be the year in which heads of state will renew their commitments to CAADP.”

Strive Masiyiwa, Vice Chair of AGRA and Founder of Econet Wireless, says: “Across Africa, farmers and small agri-businesses struggle to access the finance to invest in new seeds, fertiliser or equipment. The African Green Revolution Forum is an opportunity for everyone involved to work together to identify inclusive investment models that can drive growth and develop agriculture into a successful business. African farmers and African SMEs have shown time and time again that if we provide them with the opportunity, they will seize it with both hands.”

Jørgen Ole Haslestad, President and CEO of Yara and Chairman of the Yara Prize Committee; says: “If we want to accelerate investment in agriculture, boost crop yields and help farmers access markets, everybody involved in agriculture in Africa needs to work together. Our continued support of the AGRF is based on our belief that governments, the private sector, farmers and international partners need to share best practice, build capacity and scale up models that work. The progress achieved over the last decade shows us that now, more than ever, the future of Africa’s food security rests on the success of dialogue, knowledge-sharing and partnerships.”

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