Wednesday, 16 July 2008

2008 US-AFRICA Agribusiness Forum

25-27 June. Leaders in agribusiness industry discussed the increasing business case for investing in agriculture & food production in Africa at the 2008 US-AFRICA Agribusiness Forum in Chicago. [Chicago is regarded as the world’s grain centre, with its commodity exchange being the largest in the world]

Record high food prices calls attention to the role of the private sector in improving food security around the world. An increased emphasis on agricultural inputs and farming technology can contribute greatly to increased production capacity across Africa.

The Forum brought together the U.S. and African public and private sectors to discuss the minimization of investment risk and identify projects and mechanisms to expand their investment portfolio through agribusiness.

Highlights of the Forum included industry-specific sessions, panels to address cross-cutting issues, such as finance product innovation, pharmaceutical and biofuel industry growth, carbon trading, production technology, and certification; as well as networking opportunities. Industry experts shared best practices and the latest trends in the field.

  • DON CRANE, senior development advisor at IFDC (an international center for soil fertility and agricultural development), and MONTY JONES, executive director at the FORUM FOR AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH IN AFRICA (FARA) were panelists on the ―Food Security Driven by Agricultural Inputs and Farming Technology‖ workshop.
  • IFDC and FARA were joined by other industry experts to the best practices of the private and public sector in addressing the issue of food security through increased investment in Africa’s agricultural security sector. IFDC projects cover specialties from agribusiness to engineering and technology development, from management information systems to plant nutrient management, policy reform, and market development.