Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

VIRTUAL EVENT: Cultivate Africa

17 - 18 November 2020
. Cultivate Africa. This was an event organized by the Africa Union Commission in partnership with Hallpax. 

The main objective of Cultivate Africa is to unlock a concerted multi-stakeholder partnership toward a sustained and effective response leading to averting potential adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security and nutrition and food systems (production, distribution, trading and market access of agricultural commodities and services).

Financing Agri-Business SMEs in Uganda During the COVID-19 Era and Beyond
The United National Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in partnership with the European Union and the Government of Uganda is implementing designated components of a five-year Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU). 
  • The Support to Agricultural Revitalization and Transformation (START) facility is designed to support the implementation of DINU food security and nutrition component and will benefit the 38 districts in Northern Uganda. 
  • START is structured as a blended financing facility providing a customized mix of Business Development Services, Project development & Financial structuring services and financial products in form of concessional loans, project-based guarantees and technical assistance grants to SMEs engaged in agricultural value addition and agro-processing. 
  • The facility is also providing reimbursable grants under the Small Business Recovery Fund (SBRF) to support SMEs affected by the impact of COVID-19 to overcome their immediate working capital needs stabilize and return to growth trajectory. 
  • The UNCDF is working with the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) and Uganda Development Bank Limited (UDBL) to fulfill the program objectives and mandates
Speakers: Included:

Video: Interview with Hedwig Siewertsen (AGRA) on agribusiness funding

How to Boost African Food Production to Increase Resilience in Times of Pandemics: Innovation, Investment and Policy Priorities
This session discussed how investments in innovations and related policies should be prioritized to enable Africa to increase food supplies from the use of its own resources and thereby improve the resilience of the African food system against pandemics and other shocks. In addition to boosting productivity at the production level, the session will also evaluate options for increasing food supplies by reducing post-harvest losses, improving processing capacities and facilitating inclusive markets across Africa.

TRACK #1 GOVERNMENT & POLICY TRACK - Medium- and Longer-Term Planning: Building Resilience to Future Shocks
The disruptions caused by Covid-19 have intensified and recreated previously addressed dilemmas. At the same time, there is an opportunity to ‘build back better’, creating more resilient and sustainable systems. Shocks can be seen as opportunities – they provide useful insights into the system pinch points and help to focus attention on the fundamentals of challenges. In turn, shocks force a reprioritization/streamlining of resources and efforts. The second session will explore interventions and policies targeted at restoring (food) systems and livelihoods and explore how governments are (re)prioritizing their focus areas, impact and investments.

TRACK # 2 SOCIAL PROTECTION - An Essential Component of Long-Term Resilience and Inclusive COVID-19 Recovery
The importance of social protection as an integral part of medium- and long-term resilience building, supporting recovery, sustainable development for small-scale agricultural workers and food system actors in the rural sector, and reducing poverty.

Olivier De Schutter keynote speaker

Panel discussion

TRACK #7 WOMEN & AGRICULTURE - Bringing Lessons from African Countries to Scale: How to Support Young Women to Drive Inclusive and Resilient Food Systems
In this session, young women voices were brought into the discussion, hoping to learn from their experiences and to stimulate wider interest in supporting them better to derive their livelihoods from agriculture. 

Dr Agnes Kalibata ; Cultivate Africa 2020 ; CGIAR GENDER Platform

Bibi Giyose, AUDA/NEPAD

Dr Namukolo Njuki Covic: moderating the Q&A GENDER panel


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