Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

COVID-19 and the impact on small holder farmers in Nigeria

The World Health Organisation has expressed concerns about the rapid evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, and notes that it is one of the biggest health challenges Africa has faced in a generation. So, how will this impact food security, especially smallholder farmers in Nigeria? Ndidi Nwuneli; Co-founder and Managing Partner, Sahel Consulting joins CNBC Africa’s Esther Awoniyi for this discussion. (recorded 20 March, published 14 April)

Ndidi Nwuneli is a serial social entrepreneur who is committed to scaling social innovation on the African Continent. She is the founder of LEAP Africa, a youth leadership nonprofit organization, and co-founder of AACE Food Processing and Distribution, an indigenous agro-processing company that was founded in 2009 to fight malnutrition, reduce post-harvest losses among smallholder farmers and displace imports. She is also the managing partner of Sahel Capital Partners and Advisory, a consulting and advisory firm focused on unlocking the nutrition and agriculture potential in West Africa.
We have left too long the fate of African agriculture to trading and export companies that just focused on extraction. We have to dominate in this sector which means we have to source locally, we have to process locally, and we have to be competitive to meet our taste but also the global. 
Research and development is critical and the work on seed systems is essential. And we have to invest in value addition and processing and that's why we created knowledgehubs like
AGRA last year in its study THE HIDDED  MIDDLE said that 81% of the food provided in Africa is provided by African entrepreneurs. Most of them are small and medium sized businesses. We know that they exist but how can they scale? 
They need to scale to reduce their cost and maximize their benefits in the sector. Farmers alone will not be able to do it alone if you don't have processors, if you don't have cooks, if you don't have chefs. Thankfully there is a whole new RENAISSANCE around African food. That demand pool makes African food more appreciated.  Ndidi Nwuneli

The Nourishing Africa Hub serves as a platform for entrepreneurs to accelerate their work, connect
with funders, markets, talent, and celebrate their successes on the Continent. The portal includes information about data, funding, knowledge, e-learning, African food and chefs, career opportunities, and other resources to enable entrepreneurs to scale their impact.

Established in 2010, Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited is a leading management consulting firm committed to unlocking Africa’s agriculture and nutrition potential by supporting agri-food entrepreneurs to scale their businesses and impact their communities. It partners with government agencies, private sector companies and leading international development organizations to provide agricultural value chain analysis, market entry strategies, policy consulting, agribusiness training and project implementation support.


12 May 2020. 1:00 pm CEST. Behavioral Health Planning: A Key to Farming in the Era of COVID-19. Agricultural producers will learn how to develop plans for minimizing infections of the virus, set up arrangements for access to necessary inputs such as equipment and repairs, contracts for a labor force and transportation, and where to become knowledgeable about US federal and state assistance programs.

14 May 2020. WEBINAR. 4-6.30 PM CEST Impact of the Coronavirus crisis in the agrifood industry and consumer behavior. F and A Next (Food and Agri Start-ups) is an initiative by Rabobank, Wageningen University and Research, Anterra Capital and StartLife, collectively believing that innovation will be key to sustainably feed future generations. Showcasing promising emerging growth companies transforming agriculture:
  1. Wieland Reichert (CEO of Evologic)
  2. David Morgan (President of Pebble Labs)
  3. Jayce Hafner (CEO of FarmRaise)
  4. Keren Miran (VP Business Development & Marketing of Edete)
  5. Corjan van den Berg (Co-founder of FUMI Ingredients)
  6. Coline Laurent (Marketing Communication Manager of Connecting Food)
  7. Sean O’Keefe (Founder of COGZ)
  8. Jochem Bossenbroek (CEO of Verdify)

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