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Standard Bank South Africa’s agri conferences bring provincial role players together

Posted on 18 March 2013 by Africa Business

Standard Bank South Africa’s agricultural division is hosting a series of provincial roadshows in South Africa aimed at engaging major role players and sector leaders in discussions about generating growth in their region.

“Prospects for South African agriculture are positive,” says Willie du Plessis, head of Agribusiness at Standard Bank South Africa. “However, the potential won’t be converted into reality unless everyone involved acts collectively to remove obstacles to sustainability and create fresh revenue streams for primary and secondary operations.

“South African agriculture is perfectly positioned to implement the vision of the National Planning Commission and we see the roadshows as a way of cascading that very positive information all the way through the agricultural value chain.”

Mr Du Plessis says agriculture has now entered a bullish longer term growth phase. He points out that commodity prices have been good and will remain firm going forward. Interest rates have alsobeen favourable, with the dollar exchange rate supporting export initiatives.

Farmers are encouraged to invest in assets, whether in the form of equipment or property, and to expand their range of crops and livestock.

“This sets the scene for growth, not only for individual farmers, but right across the value chain. It is also an opportunity to make cutting edge changes that will move a farming operationinto a new league.

“Primary and secondary operations need to do things differently and better. Technology, mechanisation, precision farming, and better integration up and downstream will go a long way towards making agriculture more efficient and more profitable. This will keep farmers on the land and ensure that farming becomes an attractive proposition. In turn, this will provide South Africa’s growing population with food security.”
He says that a profitable agricultural sector will create not just more jobs, but also better paying jobs, noting that government too has a role to play in ensuring the profitability of farming.Innovation focused on productivity can also transform the sector from a labour perspective and provide farm workers and their communities with a better living.

“As with many other service sectors, financial institutions also need to develop cutting edge funding solutions that will pro-actively help the sector grow,” Mr du Plessis says. “We need to stay abreast of the obstacles and issues confronting the full spectrum of role players in agriculture, including government.

“Our provincial conferences are geared to enable us to gain the insight to do that.”

Each day-long conference includes a morning briefing session during which industry influencers including John Purchase, CEO of the Agricultural Business Chamber, and Professor Mohammad Karaan, a member of the National Planning Commission and Dean of the faculty of Agrisciences at the University of Stellenbosch, brief the 100 invited attendees on opportunities and challenges confronting agriculture from a national perspective.

Provincial agricultural role players also provide information on their respective areas of influence.

Each afternoon session is interactive, with panellists taking questions from the floor and members of the audiencetalking about their successes.

“Certainly, we need to identify challenges,” Mr Du Plessis says. “But the theme of the conferences is ‘cutting edge’. Each session is growth orientated, focused on helping agri stakeholders become more efficient by capitalising on the many factors in the industry’s favour.”

In addition, input from attendees that has the potential to impact the future of agriculture will also be communicated to decision and policy makers.

“The conferences serve to supplement the solution-seeking imbizos that Standard Bank hosts through the Standard Bank Centre for AgriLeadership and Business Development. These imbizos have provided valuable feedback to the National Planning Commission,” says Mr Du Plessis.

“As a bank, we see ourselves as not just as a financier, but also as an integral contributor to the development and transformation of the sector. Our commercial insight and capabilities can be game changers. We believe it is important to bring together people and organisations that don’t often have a chance to engage with one another and have them work together. It calls for teamwork to enable a cutting edge sector.”

For more on Standard Bank South Africa’s specialised agricultural service visit www.standardbank.co.za/businessbanking.

Source: StandardBank.com

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Africa’s Agriculture and Agribusiness Markets Set to Top US$ One Trillion in 2030

Posted on 06 March 2013 by Africa Business

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Africa has the potential to create a trillion-dollar food market
  • But farmers need better access to help them grow and trade their products
  • A new report outlines challenges and solutions to Africa’s Agriculture and Agribusiness sectors

WASHINGTON –A new World Bank report “Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness,” says that Africa’s farmers and agribusinesses could create a trillion-dollar food market by 2030 if they can expand their access to more capital, electricity, better technology and irrigated land to grow high-value nutritious foods.  The report calls on governments to work side-by-side with agribusinesses, to link farmers with consumers in an increasingly urbanized Africa.

“The time has come for making African agriculture and agribusiness a catalyst for ending poverty,” says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa Region. “We cannot overstate the importance of agriculture to Africa’s determination to maintain and boost its high growth rates, create more jobs, significantly reduce poverty, and grow enough cheap, nutritious food to feed its families, export its surplus crops, while safeguarding the continent’s environment.”

New Findings

Good prospects: Africa’s food and beverage markets are projected to reach $1 trillion by 2030. By way of comparison, the current size of the market is $313 billion, offering the prospect of a three-fold increase, bringing more jobs, greater prosperity, less hunger, and significantly more opportunity enabling African farmers to compete globally.

Performance boost needed: Africa’s agriculture and agribusinesses are underperforming.  Many developing countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, and Thailand now export more food products than all of Sub-Saharan Africa combined.  Even as export shares are falling, import of food products is rising.  The report argues that these adverse trends can be reversed through good policies, sustained public-private investment, and strong public-private partnerships backed by open, transparent procedures and processes along the entire value chain.

Untapped land and water: Africa has more than half of the world’s fertile yet unused land.  Africa uses only two percent of its renewable water resources compared to the global average of five percent.  Post-harvest losses run 15 to 20 percent for cereals and are higher for perishable products due to poor storage and other farm infrastructure.

While pointing to the need for significant investment in infrastructure the report carries an unequivocal warning: in the rush to allocate land for agribusiness, care needs to be taken so that acquisitions do not threaten people’s livelihoods and land purchases or leases are conducted according to ethical and socially responsible standards, including recognizing local users’ rights, holding consultations with local communities, and paying fair market-rate compensation for land acquired.

Adding Value

The report took an in-depth look at entire value chains – the process for taking products from farms to markets – for five commodities, rice, maize, cocoa, dairy and green beans.  Africa is the world’s leading importer and consumer of rice, paying US$3.5 billion for import bills. By increasing rice production, Senegal can help meet local demand but more capital is needed together with greater investment in irrigation and easing restrictions on access to land. Ghana, another top importer, produces more varieties of rice but at significantly higher cost.

“Improving Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness sectors means higher incomes and more jobs. It also allows Africa to compete globally. Today, Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand each export more food products than all of sub-Saharan Africa combined.  This must change,” says Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region.

Success Story

Although much of Eastern and Southern Africa is well suited to dairy production, only Kenya has established a competitive dairy industry. Kenya’s industry is based partly on a formal sector for processed milk and other dairy products, but its dynamic informal sector (based mostly on raw milk) is even more important, supplying over 80 percent of the market. Kenya’s success largely comes from the entrepreneurship of smallholders’ who choose high milk-yielding cross-bred cattle, improved feeds and paid better attention to animal health.  Also, Kenya success points to the importance of improving linkages to the formal sector through cooperative milk collection and milk cooling centers. Even though challenges remain government policy, especially flexibility in setting quality and safety standards for the informal chain were vital.

Looking Ahead

The report says agriculture and agribusiness should be at the top of the development and business agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa. Strong leadership and commitment from both public and private sectors is needed.  For success, engaging with strategic “good practice” investors is critical, as is the need for strengthening of safeguards, land administration systems, and screening investments for sustainable growth.  Concluding on an upbeat note, the report says Africa can draw on many local successes to guide governments and investors toward positive economic, social and environmental outcomes.

“African farmers and businesses must be empowered through good policies, increased public and private investments and strong public-private partnerships,” says Gaiv Tata, World Bank Director for Financial and Private Sector Development in Africa.  “A strong agribusiness sector is vital for Africa’s economic future.”

 

Source: WorldBank.org

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Africa’s Food Markets Could Create One Trillion Dollar Opportunity by 2030

Posted on 06 March 2013 by Africa Business

WASHINGTON, March, 2013 - Africa’s farmers and agribusinesses could create a trillion-dollar food market by 2030 if they can expand their access to more capital, electricity, better technology and irrigated land to grow high-value nutritious foods, and if African governments can work more closely with agribusinesses to feed the region’s fast-growing urban population, according to a new World Bank report launched today.

According to the Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness report, Africa’s food systems, currently valued at US$313 billion a year from agriculture, could triple if governments and business leaders radically rethink their policies and support to agriculture, farmers, and agribusinesses, which together account for nearly 50 percent of Africa’s economic activity.

The time has come for making African agriculture and agribusiness a catalyst for ending poverty,” says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa Region. “We cannot overstate the importance of agriculture to Africa’s determination to maintain and boost its high growth rates, create more jobs, significantly reduce poverty, and grow enough cheap, nutritious food to feed its families, export its surplus crops, while safeguarding the continent’s environment.”

Agribusiness: strong growth opportunities

Due to a combination of population growth, rising incomes and urbanization, strong demand is driving global food and agricultural prices higher.  Supply issues – slowing yield growth of major food crops, slowdown in research spending, land degradation and water scarcity issues, and a changing climate all mean that prices will remain high.  In this new market climate, Africa has great potential for expanding its food and agricultural exports.

Africa holds almost 50 percent of the world’s uncultivated land which is suited for growing food crops, comprising as many as 450 million hectares that are not forested, protected, or densely populated. Africa uses less than 2 percent of its renewable water sources, compared to a world average of five percent. Its harvests routinely yield far less than their potential and, for mainstay food crops such as maize the yield gap is as wide as 60 to 80 percent. Post-harvest losses run 15 to 20 percent for cereals and are higher for perishable products due to poor storage and other farm infrastructure.

African countries can tap into booming markets in rice, maize, soybeans, sugar, palm oil, biofuel and feedstock and emerge as major exporters of these commodities on world markets similar to the successes scored by Latin America and Southeast Asia.  For Sub-Saharan Africa, the most dynamic sectors are likely to be rice, feed grains, poultry, dairy, vegetable oils, horticulture and processed foods to supply domestic markets.

The report cautions that even as land will be needed for some agribusiness investments, such acquisitions can threaten people’s livelihoods and create local opposition unless land purchases or leases are conducted according to ethical and socially responsible standards, including recognizing local users’ rights, thorough consultations with local communities, and fair market-rate compensation for land acquired.

Improving Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness sectors means higher incomes and more jobs. It also allows Africa to compete globally. Today, Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand each export more food products than all of sub-Saharan Africa combined.  This must change,” says Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region.

Value Chains are essential

Rice: Africa has become a major consumer and importer of rice, and Africans import half the rice they eat and pay top dollar for it, $3.5 billion per year and more.  Ghana and Senegal are significant importers.  Senegal is competitive among its neighbors, but it is held back by the difficulty farmers have in accessing land, capital, finance for irrigation expansion and appropriate crop varieties.  Ghana produces fewer varieties of rice than Senegal, but at significantly higher cost, and levies 40 percent tariffs and other charges on imports. Poor grain quality, cleanliness and packaging are major deterrents for consumers constraining the sector’s performance.

Maize: A food staple for many Africans, maize is grown on 25 million hectares or 14 percent of cropped land. In Zambia where people eat on average 133 kilograms of cereals a year, maize provides half the calories in their diets.  Zambia is competitive when importing maize but fails on exports.  High transport costs, higher labor costs and lower yields combine to increase costs by one-third compared to Thailand, a major international producer of rain-fed maize.  The report argues that Zambia’s future competitiveness depends on raising yields, reducing costs, and removing disincentives for the private sector in markets and trade.

In addition, the study reviewed value chains for cocoa in Ghana and dairy and green beans in Kenya.

African farmers and businesses must be empowered through good policies, increased public and private investments and strong public-private partnerships,” says Gaiv Tata, World Bank Director for Financial and Private Sector Development in Africa.  “A strong agribusiness sector is vital for Africa’s economic future.”

Solutions

Agriculture and agribusiness should be at the top of the development and business agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report calls for strong leadership and commitment for both public and private sectors.  As comparators, the report cites case studies from Uruguay, Indonesia and Malaysia. For success, engaging with strategic “good practice” investors is critical, as is the strengthening of safeguards, land administration systems, and screening investments for sustainable growth.

The report notes that Africa can also draw on many local successes to guide governments and investors toward positive economic, social and environmental outcomes.

 

Source: WorldBank.org

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Africa’s Food Markets Could Create One Trillion Dollar Opportunity by 2030

Posted on 04 March 2013 by Africa Business

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Africa’s farmers and agribusinesses could create a trillion-dollar food market by 2030 if they can expand their access to more capital, electricity, better technology and irrigated land to grow high-value nutritious foods, and if African governments can work more closely with agribusinesses to feed the region’s fast-growing urban population, according to a new World Bank report launched today.

 

According to the Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusinessreport, Africa’s food systems, currently valued at US$313 billion a year from agriculture, could triple if governments and business leaders radically rethink their policies and support to agriculture, farmers, and agribusinesses, which together account for nearly 50 percent of Africa’s economic activity.

 

“The time has come for making African agriculture and agribusiness a catalyst for ending poverty,” says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa Region. “We cannot overstate the importance of agriculture to Africa’s determination to maintain and boost its high growth rates, create more jobs, significantly reduce poverty, and grow enough cheap, nutritious food to feed its families, export its surplus crops, while safeguarding the continent’s environment.”

 

Agribusiness: strong growth opportunities

 

Due to a combination of population growth, rising incomes and urbanization, strong demand is driving global food and agricultural prices higher. Supply issues – slowing yield growth of major food crops, slowdown in research spending, land degradation and water scarcity issues, and a changing climate all mean that prices will remain high. In this new market climate, Africa has great potential for expanding its food and agricultural exports.

 

Africa holds almost 50 percent of the world’s uncultivated land which is suited for growing food crops, comprising as many as 450 million hectares that are not forested, protected, or densely populated. Africa uses less than 2 percent of its renewable water sources, compared to a world average of five percent. Its harvests routinely yield far less than their potential and, for mainstay food crops such as maize the yield gap is as wide as 60 to 80 percent. Post-harvest losses run 15 to 20 percent for cereals and are higher for perishable products due to poor storage and other farm infrastructure.

 

African countries can tap into booming markets in rice, maize, soybeans, sugar, palm oil, biofuel and feedstock and emerge as major exporters of these commodities on world markets similar to the successes scored by Latin America and Southeast Asia. For Sub-Saharan Africa, the most dynamic sectors are likely to be rice, feed grains, poultry, dairy, vegetable oils, horticulture and processed foods to supply domestic markets.

 

The report cautions that even as land will be needed for some agribusiness investments, such acquisitions can threaten people’s livelihoods and create local opposition unless land purchases or leases are conducted according to ethical and socially responsible standards, including recognizing local users’ rights, thorough consultations with local communities, and fair market-rate compensation for land acquired.

 

“Improving Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness sectors means higher incomes and more jobs. It also allows Africa to compete globally. Today, Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand each export more food products than all of sub-Saharan Africa combined. This must change,” says Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region.

 

Value Chains are essential

 

Rice: Africa has become a major consumer and importer of rice, and Africans import half the rice they eat and pay top dollar for it, $3.5 billion per year and more. Ghana and Senegal are significant importers. Senegal is competitive among its neighbors, but it is held back by the difficulty farmers have in accessing land, capital, finance for irrigation expansion and appropriate crop varieties. Ghana produces fewer varieties of rice than Senegal, but at significantly higher cost, and levies 40 percent tariffs and other charges on imports. Poor grain quality, cleanliness and packaging are major deterrents for consumers constraining the sector’s performance.

 

Maize: A food staple for many Africans, maize is grown on 25 million hectares or 14 percent of cropped land. In Zambia where people eat on average 133 kilograms of cereals a year, maize provides half the calories in their diets. Zambia is competitive when importing maize but fails on exports. High transport costs, higher labor costs and lower yields combine to increase costs by one-third compared to Thailand, a major international producer of rain-fed maize. The report argues that Zambia’s future competitiveness depends on raising yields, reducing costs, and removing disincentives for the private sector in markets and trade.

 

In addition, the study reviewed value chains for cocoa in Ghana and dairy and green beans in Kenya.

 

“African farmers and businesses must be empowered through good policies, increased public and private investments and strong public-private partnerships,” says Gaiv Tata, World Bank Director for Financial and Private Sector Development in Africa. “A strong agribusiness sector is vital for Africa’s economic future.”

 

Solutions

 

Agriculture and agribusiness should be at the top of the development and business agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report calls for strong leadership and commitment for both public and private sectors. As comparators, the report cites case studies from Uruguay, Indonesia and Malaysia. For success, engaging with strategic “good practice” investors is critical, as is the strengthening of safeguards, land administration systems, and screening investments for sustainable growth.

 

The report notes that Africa can also draw on many local successes to guide governments and investors toward positive economic, social and environmental outcomes.

 

SOURCE

The World Bank

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Agricultural investment opportunities, best practices & innovations define CMT’s 3rd Commercial Farm Africa Summit

Posted on 19 February 2013 by Africa Business

Centre for Management Technology today launches the 3rd Commercial Farm Africa Summit to take place on March 19-20 in Accra, Ghana. Endorsed by Ghanaian Ministry of Food & Agriculture (MOFA) and supported by Private Enterprise Foundation, the 2-day summit addresses rising agricultural investment opportunities in the region, spotlighting on funding, best practices, infrastructure and innovations challenges.

ACCRA, Ghana –Co-sponsored by SGS South Africa (Corporate) and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions (Afternoon Reception), the 3rd Commercial Farm Africa Summit will open with a keynote speech by a top level official from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture,addressing “Agricultural Investment Opportunities in Ghana”, and public-private partnership in agribusiness development.

Among the speakers at this Africa summit are Mr. Stephen Kumadoh, Principal Valuer of Land Commission who will elaborate on land banks and availability for agricultural investment opportunities, Ms. Sarah Marchand (Holmes) Senior Advisor of Technical Assistance Facility for the African Agriculture Fund sharing on smallholder outgrower schemes and experiences across various countries and sectors, plus Mr. Cobus Burger, Managing Director from SGS South Africa presenting a paper on sustainability in crop production.

Additionally Ms. Christina Ulardic, Head of Market Development Africa, Swiss Re will be examining agricultural project risk management while valuable case studies on agricultural projects in commercial farm in Ethopia and rice project in Africa will be presented by Mr. Vijay Kumar Jain, Director of Ruchi Soya and Mr. Mick Bartlett, Chief Operating Officer of Vita Rice respectively. Praire Volta & Kwanim G.D.K farm, both operating in Ghana, will share their experiences and challenges of investing and operating in Ghana

Tackling sessions on infrastructure and logistics are Mr. Jules Gogoua, Head of Transport Division in ECOWAS Commission, who will focus on development plans in West Africa, and Mr. Nana Osei-Bonsu, Director General of Private Enterprise Foundation, zooming into warehouse receipt system. IFC & Phatisa – Manager of African Agriculture Fund will provide insights on funding of agricultural projects.

Experts from companies including SABMiller Africa and S.A. Sopex N.V will shed light on prospective crops and farming segments such as cassava, corn, livestock and poultry, while Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and Netafim will look at technology and innovations.

 

Contacts

  • Centre for Management Technology
    Ms. Angelia, +65 6345 5701

angelia@cmtsp.com.sg

 

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Trending: Smallholders and investors to work together for better technologies and best practices

Posted on 30 January 2013 by Africa Business

 

“Smallholders are a vast and under-utilized resource;
these are the people we work with – whether smallholders, pastoralists or herders – not just to increase productivity, but to nurture the land, to improve their businesses and strengthen market access.”
- Mr. Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development

Amidst the growing global demand for staples, Africa is advocating public-private partnership to boost agribusiness as well as moving towards the upgrading of smallholders to strengthen the market and make significant contribution to global food security.

Having investors working with smallholders is like blending new technologies with best local farming practices to create a win-win situation for all. By fusing the two, higher productivity can be achieved to cater to the demand from both foreign and emerging markets in developing countries.

CMT’s 3rd Commercial Farm Africa Summit, endorsed by the Ghanaian’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture to be held in Accra, Ghana, on 19-20 March 2013, presents the latest updates on the agriculture market, investment opportunities, development and funding details as well as zooms into the various food staples including sugar, soya, corn, rice and cassava. Potential of energy crops investment will also be explored.

On top of that, it offers vital information on how to manage and work with smallholders – the opportunities, best practices as well as challenges – from these experts:

  • SMALLHOLDER OUTGROWER SCHEMES – LEARNINGS FROM ACROSS THE CONTINENT
    - Key success factors & best practices in contracting smallholder out-growers
    - Comparing and contrasting experiences across different countries/sectors
    - Thoughts on selecting the appropriate model for a given context
    Sarah Marchand (Holmes), Senior Advisor
    Technical Assistance Facility for the African Agriculture Fund
  • CONNECTING FARMERS TO AGRICULTURAL VALUE CHAINS IN AFRICA: CASSAVA, AFRICA’S BEST KEPT SECRET
    - Utilizing local content to produce beer for the local markets
    - Supply chain management from farm to factory
    - Local sourcing challenges & working with smallholders farm
    - Brewery expansion plans across Africa
    Gerry J van den Houten, Director – Enterprise Development
    SABMiller Africa

Click here to view the brief program agenda.

Register today and confirm your attendance via credit card payment to enjoy a USD 100 discount!

For more information on attending the summit as a delegate, speaker, exhibitor or sponsor, just email me at angelia@cmtsp.com.sg or call me at Tel. +65 6345 5701.

ACT Now To Avoid Disappointment

For a copy of the agenda click here

For info on
Sponsorship Opportunities
Email: nisha@cmtsp.com.sg

To Register:

Contact: Angelia
T: +65 6345 5701
Email: angelia@cmtsp.com.sg

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Africare to outline essential role of civil society, small-scale farming and best practices at this year’s AgriBusiness Forum

Posted on 16 November 2012 by Africa Business

Agri2012 – AfriCare (Microsoft Word)

Leading American NGO spotlights small-scale farming for a result-driven future for Africa’s Agri-Food sector.

“Across Africa it is the small entrepreneurs and businesses that drive community livelihoods and national economic development. Yet without adequate financing or access to buyers, producers associations are not able to sell their products to increase their incomes and bolster their livelihoods. Furthermore without knowledge of the markets, they are unable to secure the inputs and technology needed to increase production,” explains Gwen Young Senegal Country Director for Africare who will be presenting Africare’s vision at this year’s AgriBusiness Forum taking place in Dakar, Senegal from 25-28 November 2012.

 

Focused on establishing strategies that improve livelihoods with cohesive policies and long-lasting results, Africare’s message will underline the role of investments, technologies and services and the importance for these to be designed considering the needs of small-scale farmers, particularly women, and delivered to small-scale farmers, not simply to large agribusinesses. Africare, in addition to other civil society representatives, will offer a detailed approach as to what the future holds for Africa’s agricultural sector.

 

The pan-African forum entitled ‘Boosting African Agriculture through Partnership, Investment and Technology’, will provide a platform for civil society to present its views alongside Prime Ministers, politicians and local and international business leaders as well as chambers of commerce from across Africa, Europe, Asia and America.

 

Specific issues linked to all parts of the value chain as well as the barriers constraining farming communities will also be highlighted. Young adds that, “Producers need a clear market and demand before they can make firm investments in increasing income. They also need new technologies such as drip irrigation and water pumps, which allow them to spend more time on downstream value-chain activities such as marketing and processing their goods.”

 

The international organization will also use the pan-African AgriBusiness Forum as a mean to showcase partners, supporting the participations of six small enterprises to demonstrate both the innovative work being done at the community level as well as the financial, technological and service needs of small enterprises in Senegal.

 

Opened by the H.E. President, Macky Sall, the forum is co-organised by EMRC, UNDP, co-organiser of the AgriBusiness Forum 2011 in Johannesburg and PanAAC and will take place in collaboration with FAO, the Rabobank Foundation, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), UniBRAIN, Nigeria’s Kwara State, Africare, Syngenta Foundation, USAID and Amiran Kenya.

To guarantee an environment conducive to launching new business projects, the forum will be accompanied by an Exhibition and B2B sessions.  This year’s forum will also highlight youth & agriculture with innovative and ground-breaking projects during the internationally recognised Project Incubator Award, sponsored by the Rabobank Foundation, which will spotlight four leading innovative businesses with the winner taking home a cash prize of US$15,000.

 

To read Gwen Young’s full interview – please click here.

 

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

Tel.: +32.2626.1514

Brussels, Belgium

cg@emrc.be

 

For media queries,

contact Jessica Frommer Media and Communications Manager (jf@emrc.be) tel: +32.2626.1517

or Prody Mwemena – Media and Communications Officer (pmm@emrc.be) tel: +32.2626.1510

About EMRC

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.

Follow us on Twitter Facebook LinkdIn YouTube and Flickr

 

About Africare

Africare is a leading non-governmental organization (NGO) committed to addressing African development and policy issues by working in partnership with African people to build sustainable, healthy and productive communities. Since 1970, Africare has provided well over $1 billion of assistance and support through more than 2,500 projects in Agriculture & Food Security; Water, Sanitation & Hygiene; Women’s Empowerment; and Health, HIV & AIDS that have impacted millions of beneficiaries in 36 countries in Africa. Visit http://www.africare.org for more information.

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Former President of the African Development Bank Babacar Ndiaye to lead Investment Day at this year’s AgriBusiness Forum.

Posted on 12 November 2012 by Africa Business

 

Agri2012 – Babacar Ndiaye – ENG (Microsoft Word)

African expert calls on everyone involved in agriculture to step up to the fore for the sake of the entire continent’s development and in the fight against poverty.

12th November 2012, Brussels, Belgium

 

With the AgriBusiness Forum 2012 just around the corner, Babacar Ndiaye, former President of the African Development Bank and founder of the African Business Roundtable (ABR), outlines his demands towards the African and international community to act and establish basic and fundamental financial policies to create real change, after years of debates and establishing potential visions and objectives.

 

“Africa’s agricultural potential cannot induce people into a self-righteous optimism, but should instead incite a responsible and pro-active approach from the sector’s various players because parallel to these important opportunities there exist inherent risks that can no longer be ignored,” explains Babacar Ndiaye, who will preside over the Investment Day session at this year’s AgriBusiness Forum in Dakar, Senegal on Wednesday 28th November.

 

Citing Ghana as a country to learn from, he highlights that without agricultural development African countries will not be able to alleviate poverty or increase income sufficiently. “It is estimated that economic growth based on the agricultural sector is capable to reduce at least twice as much poverty as a growth based on the non-agricultural sectors”. He also notes that there are many risks linked to agriculture, from climate change to the international financial crisis, but this in fact should be an impetus to act now and not wait till tomorrow.

 

Ndiaye’s message is clear:“We need to focus on research and development and sustainable technological innovation. Without this and without real financial structural change which allows rural communities to access funds at reasonable interest rates, the sector cannot evolve.” “The numbers are staggering -  the proportion of arable lands still to be cultivated is around 60%. It is estimated that by 2025 around 330 million youth, of which two-thirds are from rural areas, will intergrate the job market,” he says and calls on all actors to get to grips with the potential but also the enormity of the task ahead.

 

Babacar Ndiaye will be accompanied by Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, former Director Africa at the IMF and former President of the West African Bank of Development (BOAD), who will also outline his roadmap for investment in the Agri-Food sector alongside other financial experts.

 

The Investment Day (Wednesday 28 November) will centre around the Financing African Agriculture: Mechanisms, Strategies, Models with a focus on Commercial Banks, Donors and Foundations, Private Equity Funds and Development Finance Institutions. It is part of this year’s ‘three-key-pillars’ forum, entitled ‘Boosting African Agriculture through Partnership, Investment and Technology’. Opened by Senegal President Macky Sall, the forum is co-organised by EMRC, UNDP, co-organiser of AgriBusiness Forum 2011 in Johannesburg and PanAAC and will take place in collaboration with FAO, the Rabobank Foundation, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), UniBRAIN, Nigeria’s Kwara State, Syngenta Foundation and Amiran Kenya.

To guarantee an environment conducive to launching new business projects, the forum will be accompanied by an Exhibition and B2B sessions.  This year’s forum will also highlight youth & agriculture with innovative and ground-breaking projects during the internationally recognised Project Incubator Award, sponsored by Rabobank Foundation, which will spotlight four leading innovative businesses with the winner taking home a cash prize of US$15,000.

 

To view Babacar Ndiaye entire interview in french – please click here.

 

Caterina Giuliano, EMRC Sr Programme Manager

Tel.: +32.2626.1514

Brussels, Belgium

cg@emrc.be

 

For all media inquiries,

Jessica Frommer – Media and Communications Manager (jf@emrc.be) tel: +32.2626.1517

Or  Prody Mwemena – Media and Communications Officer (pmm@emrc.be) tel: +32.2626.1510

 

 

About EMRC

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.

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The 5th African Private Sector Forum gets underway under the theme “The Role of Private Sector in Promoting Investment and Agro-Industry in Africa”

Posted on 06 November 2012 by Africa Business

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 6, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The 3 day 5th African Private Sector Forum was launched today in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire with strategic aims to promote investment and trade through partnerships and joint ventures between the African Union Commission’s (AUC) Member States, the Middle East and the world at large in key sectors such as infrastructure development, transportation, telecommunication amongst others.

Held under the theme “The Role of Private Sector in Promoting Investment and Agro-Industry in Africa”, the annual Forum will bring the African and Arab business communities on one platform to explore business opportunities, focusing primarily on how the private sector actors from both regions can forge sustainable partnerships with a view to enhancing mutually beneficial trade and investment relations.

Welcoming the participants and underscoring the fact that the “the Forum has attracted private sector actors from the Middle East and India, H.E. Dr. Maxwell M. Mkwezalamba, AUC Commissioner for Economic Affairs highlighted that “Given the nature of the African economy, the future of Africa is inextricably linked to its performance and success in the agricultural sector; Small wonder, the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) was endorsed by African Heads of State and Government in 2003.”

The Forum will also focus on engaging the private sector in the new African Solidarity Initiative (ASI) which provides an opportunity to mobilize, from within the continent, support for African countries emerging from conflicts, consolidate and expand intra-African co-operation and mutual self-help, in line with the AU Policy on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development.

Other key items on the agenda include Africa’s Private Sector and Agro-Industry Situation and Perspectives; Capital Markets Development and Productive Investment in Africa; Post 2015 MDGs Development Agenda; On-going Initiatives in Africa with Partners and Emerging Economies to Strengthen the African Private Sector; Initiatives for Youth Entrepreneurship; The Role of Women in Agri-Business Development.

To pursue the ultimate goal of creating and enabling an environment for business activity, he mentioned the “need to work together in ensuring macro-economic stability in our economies; investing in infrastructure and reforming regulations to lower the cost of doing business; increasing the access to education for would-be entrepreneurs to help foster the emergence of a broad-based business class across Africa; promoting the emergence of effective judiciary systems; and promoting good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights”

Concluding his remarks, the AUC Commissioner informed the Forum on the 50th Anniversary of the AU to be held in May 2013 and invited the African Private Sector to participate and popularize the event.

In his statement, Mr. Lom Aboubacry, regional Director of the United Nations Commission for Economic Affairs (UNECA), acknowledged the important role the private sector played the past ten years in promoting economic growth within Africa and highlighted the need for integrated and supportive policy reforms that take into consideration the fundamental element of Global Value Chains and their assessment through comparative advantages. He also reemphasized the need for social and economic accountability within the sector.

H.E.M. Daniel Kabian Duncan, Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Cote d’Ivoire on his part wished participants fruitful deliberations and officially declared the Forum open.

The Forum will be a suitable opportunity to meet key actors from global industries and draw attention to the challenges and opportunities in various sectors as well as provide a platform for engagement with policy makers, including the AUC, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Member States. It will also feature some national and regional project portfolios with regional investment and export trade opportunities that require international cooperation and partnerships.

Present among others: the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED); the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI); and the International Trade Centre (ITC).

SOURCE

African Union Commission (AUC)

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