Monday, 25 October 2010

AgriBusiness Forum 2010 - Food Security: a Business Opportunity

3 – 6 Oct 2010. Kampala. The AgriBusiness Forum 2010. For four days, over 400 industry leaders, cooperatives, SMEs, financiers, government officials, NGOs, researchers, international organisations, multinationals and donors from 42 countries around the world gathered in Kampala and discussed the urgent matter of food security and its potential to generate business opportunities.

Ralph von Kaufmann from FARA
In particular, the AgriBusiness Forum assembly agreed that Africa plays an important role in the increase of food production and thus, in the long run, can contribute significantly to solving the projected 70% increase for food demand by 2050.

The AgriBusiness Forum 2010 looked at food security as an opportunity to:

  1. Boost the African agro-food sector through the design, planning, and implementation of diverse agricultural policies and projects.
  2. Debate on the role of the private sector in improving food access and increasing sustainable agricultural productivity.
  3. Improve production as well as pre and post-harvest intervention, commodities, and inputs.
  4. Attract new & strengthen existing partnerships and investments in the agri-food sector in Africa.
They resolved that the private sector plays a crucial role in up-scaling agricultural productivity; putting in mind that capacity building will create a more efficient agribusiness.

For her Bee Natural Project, Maria Odido won the amount of US$ 15,000. The project aims at processing carrot relish, carrot and pineapple jam. Maria Odido was delighted with her award and summed up the motivation of many of the AgriBusiness Forum participants, ‘It’s not my job, it’s my life’.
Click here to find out more aboutMaria Odido's Project

Including small-scale producers in the value-chain, the experts said, is vital for agribusiness innovation.

"Indigenous knowledge should be improved on - farmers require training, technology, information technology and mobile applications to improve their smallholder agribusiness operations," the forum agreed.

AgriBusiness Forum, an annual business Forum that aims to contribute to the sustainable economic growth of Africa by further developing its agriculture and agro-food industry, was organised by teh Brusels-based non-profit organisation EMRC, in partnership with the Uganda Government.

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. EMRC's mission is to lead the private sector in Africa to sustainable economic development and to drive regional change via partnerships.

This AgriBusiness 2010 was sponsored by FAO and Rabobank, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), USAID, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, Novus International, Heineken, FARA, Stanbic Bank, Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, KPMG, ProInvest and IFDC.