Jane Karuku, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
Maputo, Mozambique – A Green Revolution cannot materialise in Africa without a major concerted effort to secure financing for agricultural production, the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) has warned.
The Forum, which brought together over 200 delegates from across Africa and internationally, rounded off in Maputo, Mozambique, on Friday.
PANA reported that the Forum, which was organised by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), a dynamic partnership working across Africa to help millions of small-scale farmers and their families lift themselves out of poverty and hunger, focused on the critical role to be played by public-private partnerships and inclusive business models in the development of Africa’s agriculture.
The Forum was told that the global gap in finance for agriculture stands at US$450 billion, an issue which is more acute in Africa than anywhere else. Only 10% of African smallholder farmers have access to the financing they need to expand their production and raise their income.
Among the decisions taken at the two-day Forum, the AGRF committed to focus over the next year on a number of priority actions, including:
— Ensuring that rising revenues from extractive industries are invested into the development of agriculture
— Reducing corruption in public-private partnerships and designing business ventures that are transparent, environmentally and socially responsible
— Building the capacity of farmers’ associations, finance institutions and agribusiness agencies to work together
— Encouraging governments to offer tax incentives and make preferential procurement choices for companies that source from smallholder farmers
— Developing inclusive financial models that combine incentives, reduce debt risk and promote longer-term agribusiness models
— Combining incentives, reducing debt risk and promoting longer-term agribusiness models
Closing the Forum, Mozambique’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture Antonio Limbau, said: “We are honoured and pleased to have hosted this important forum in Mozambique ten years after the Maputo Declaration. This forum was a valuable opportunity to discuss practical steps to strengthen capacity and extend the use of modern technology to increase productivity.”
Also commenting on the Forum, Jane Karuku, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) – a partner in the AGRF – said: “2014 is a critical year for agriculture, when African governments will be setting investment targets and plans to develop agriculture over the coming decade.
“The African Union has recognised this crucial moment and designated 2014 as the Year for Food Security and Agriculture. We are delighted to announce that next year’s AGRF will be co-hosted with the African Union in Addis Ababa in September 2014.”
AGRF is an initiative, which seeks to bring together African heads of state, ministers, farmers, private agribusiness firms, financial institutions, NGOs, civil society, scientists, and other stakeholders to discuss and develop concrete investment plans for achieving the green revolution in Africa.