FARA’s presence at the Forum was important as this contributed to one of the conclusions on the role and importance of agricultural research and development in enhancing productivity. Briefly, the conclusions were as follows:
- Growth of agri-business sector in Africa requires a favorable environment. Governments should therefore create the necessary favorable policy environment in order to promote agri-business.
- Adequate infrastructure is critical for growth in agriculture to occur. Governments should therefore increase investments in rural infrastructure in order to promote agri-business.
- Agricultural research and development is the key to increased agricultural productivity. For Africa to increase agricultural productivity there is a need to increase the scale and scope of agricultural research and development on the continent. This requires all parties involved – public and private sectors – to work together.
- Market access is a key component of agricultural development. The EMRC therefore calls upon the European Commission to remove barriers to trade and promote south-south and north-south trade relations.
A microfinance institution from Cameroon, MUPECI, was awarded the EMRC-Rabobank Project Incubator Award of $10,000, which aims to help boost the economy of an African country. The funds will be used to help finance farmers to produce soy. By funding organised groups in rural areas, Augustin Yemene, MUPECI chairman, said he hopes to reduce poverty and food shortages, curb the exodus from rural areas and bolster the country’s supplies of soy.
Pierre van Hedel of Rabobank Foundation and Idit Miller of EMRC with Augustin Yemene of MUPECI.
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