Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, January 28, 2013

Global Forum for Food and Agriculture - GFFA 2013

17 - 19 January 2013. Berlin. At the 5th Agriculture Ministers' Summit in Berlin, ministers from 80 countries worldwide committed themselves to a resolute fight against hunger and called for investments in the agri-food sector to be significantly increased, particularly in developing countries.  The GFFA is an international event that focuses on central issues regarding the future of the global agri-food industry. Since 2009, it has been held annually in Berlin during International Green Week (IGW).

For the first time, the BMELV invited the World Food Organisation (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to hold public working meetings whose outcome was incorporated into the subsequent 5th Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Summit, the International GFFA Panel Discussion and the International Business Panel. the conference was also attended by FARA: Dr. Emmanuel Tambi (Director of Advocacy and Policy); Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo (in-coming FARA ED).

Apart from the summit itself, numerous other events gave representatives from politics, industry, the scientific community and civil society a forum for interaction, discussion and political agreement.

Panels of experts arranged by various organisers publicly discussed the current state of progress and compared specific experiences.

Fasil Tsegaye
Steve Bawa
The expert panel around "Development partnerships between state and industry – an engine for sustainable agricultural investments" presented a.o.the G8 Africa initiative. The African panelists were Fasil Tsegaye, CEO; Oral Agro Industry Plc, Ethiopia and Steve Bawa Director, Fruits & Veggies Global Ltd., Nigeria.

The panelists discussed the experiences and lessons learned from the initiatives that they manage. The initiatives include (i) the German Initiative for agribusiness and food security in emerging and developing economies (GIAF) which aims at fostering cooperation between German private sector and public sector institutions such as GIZ to promote sustainable growth in agricultural and food production in emerging and developing countries; (ii) the BMZ Minds for Change – Enhancing Opportunities, an initiative that supports projects in Kenya, Burkina Faso and Afghanistan; (iii) the Fruits and Vegetables production in Nigeria; and (iv) the animal feeds production company in Ethiopia.

In the panel on Food Security – How does research contribute, Dr. Cornel Adler, of the Julius Kuhn Institute looked at new approaches in stored products protection to reduce post-harvest losses. Dr. Cornel Adler is the European partner of the PAEPARD supported consortium in Ghana:  Improving food security and income for smallholder farmers through improved post harvest technology

In the panel on Environment for investment in rural farming in Africa four panel members discussed the pre-requisites and frame conditions for investments in agriculture in Africa and how to make investments sustainable.

  1. Hon. Ally Malima, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Tanzania shared the experience of Tanzania and invited potential investors to take advantage of the investment opportunities available in the country. 
  2. Ms Esther Mururi of Equity Bank, Kenya shared the Kenyan experience of private sector delivery of financial services to smallholder farmers while 
  3. Mr. Daniel Gad, General Manager of Omega Farms, Ethiopia shared his experience with private sector investments in the Ethiopian grain and horticulture sector. He shared information on investment opportunities in these sectors and called on potential investors to invest in Ethiopia. 
  4. Mr. Jervis Zimba, President ‘Zambia National Farmers Union’ and Vice President, 'World Farmers Organisation’ (WFO) shared the experience of smallholder farmers in Zambia.

The panel on The role of farmers organizations for inclusive business
Small and medium-sized enterprises as well as international corporations in the agriculture and food industries are increasingly committed to doing business with smallholder farmers in African countries – as consumers of agricultural inputs and machinery, users of services (e.g. financial or advisory services) or as suppliers of agricultural commodities. This creates new business opportunities but also new challenges for all participants along the value chain.

Jervis Zimba
The panelists were Mr. Carter Coleman, Founder and CEO of Agrica Limited: Presentation of an example of cooperation with smallholder farmers in Tanzania; Mr. Adam Ally Malima, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Tanzania; Ms. Jane Karuku, President, ‘Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa’ (AGRA); and Mr. Jervis Zimba, President ‘Zambia National Farmers Union’, and Vice President, 'World Farmers Organisation’ (WFO).

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