Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Developing Agriculture and Agribusiness Innovation in Africa,

Experts from six African countries are discussing ways of attracting investments in agriculture. Their three-day meeting on Agriculture and Agribusiness Innovation May 12-14, 2008, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - is aimed at helping the countries to create conducive environments for investments in the sector. The World Bank Institute and Denmark have organised the meeting.

The overall objectives of this Forum are threefold: to facilitate learning on key practices and policies that enable or hinder innovation and technology development in agriculture, food industry, rural energy and physical environment; to discuss how to operationalize agricultural innovation systems; and to strategize on how to promote agricultural innovation at the national level. The geographical focus at the Forum will be on Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

The intended result is to inform representatives from the private sector including Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), universities, research institutes, government agencies, and civil society on crucial agricultural innovation and technology development issues, with an emphasis on identifying and discussing technological advancements in the above-mentioned sectors and replicating and scaling up success in African countries. A final objective is to establish tangible next steps that will follow up on the results of the Forum, offer support to the participants in their technology-related work, and continue the learning on these critical topics.

According to Adewele Adekunde from the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, every African nation is required to examine its food situation before designing short-, medium- and long-term strategies.

"The short-term measure should be how to make sure that each country is hunger-free. Having done that, the country is required to go into the medium-term strategy of making sure that farmers get money through farming," said Adekunde. AllAfrica 13/05 Tanzania: Experts Discuss Investments in Agriculture

Particular attention is given to projects which have achieved scale, have involved many different stakeholders effectively, or have endogenously developed technologies or successfully adapted technologies for local use. The World Bank's Henry Gordon said in Dar es Salaam that the meeting would enable participants to share findings of case studies of agricultural innovations conducted in the six countries. The studies were complemented by documentation of a wider range of successful innovations in the countries that pertained to agricultural productivity, processing, rural energy, physical environment and water supply.

See one page summaries of the case studies below: