AGRF summit marks a defining moment for transforming Africa’s food systems ― AGRA

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has said the 2021 African Green Revolution Forum Summit (AGRF) marks a defining moment for transforming the continent’s food systems.

The AGRF 2021 Summit with the theme: “Pathways to Recovery and Resilient Food Systems”, kicked off in Nairobi on September 7, 2021, in Kenya convening close to 7,000 participants virtually, including African presidents, agriculture ministers, agricultural stakeholders and experts to discuss ways the continent can transform food systems and accelerate progress to eradicating hunger and poverty.

Board Chairman of AGRA, H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn who made this known in Nairobi, Kenya said Africa’s agriculture transformation will only happen if the continent collectively decides to advance past commitments.

He said: “We know the binding constraints that have hindered progress in achieving national and continental agriculture priorities.

“This Summit brings us together to collaborate and hone our leadership and technical skills useful in unlocking sector implementation challenges. By auctioning commitments and discussing challenges on our way, we can partner to empower African communities.”

This highlight of the summit was the unveiling of the Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR) was unveiled, on Tuesday, 7th September 2021 with a focus on how to build sustainable and resilient agri-food systems, technology, job creation, market opportunities, global sustainability, enhancing the nutritional quality of food products and regreening Africa through ecosystem restoration.

Officially unveiling the report, Professor Joachim Von Braun, Director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF), said: “The AASR is here. We are standing on the launch pad and the rocket is to boost agriculture in Africa.”

Principal Secretary, State Department for Agricultural Research in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, Kenya, Prof. Hamadi Boga profiled key milestones alongside the challenges in policymaking in agriculture in Kenya.

“Kenyan policies in agriculture recognize that we have smallholder farmers who are still very poor, women are equally not adequately involved however noting this we ensure that we do not exclude anyone in dialogue and policy regulation,” he said.

The panel discussion provided an opportunity for debate around the strategies for the reduction of agricultural risks and vulnerabilities.

The Nigeria Agribusiness Deal Room session covered investment opportunities in oil palm, cassava and livestock value chain in Kaduna State.

It was presented by a team of government technical experts. “Kaduna State owns 10per cent of the national livestock population, ranks as the 3rd largest producer of ginger in the world and is the largest producer of ginger and maize in Nigeria,” Mrs Umma Yusuf Aboki.

“Cassava is one of 10 commodities that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will provide special interventions to increase domestic production,” said Mr Yahaya Mohammed.

Five of Africa’s presidents met at the AGRF Summit to review strategies for fast-tracking Africa’s food system transformation.

The five were: host Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Dr Lazarus Chakwera (Malawi), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), and Hage Geingob of Namibia. Joining them in a panel discussion were Tanzania’s Vice President Dr Philip Mpango, IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo, Josefa Sacko, the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the Africa Union Commission, Salamatu Garba, the Senior Gender Specialist at UNDP-GEF Project, and Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group.

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AGRF summit marks a defining moment for transforming Africa’s food systems

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