Sep 6, 2021 | News, Press Release

Agriculture stakeholders plan sustainable and resilient food systems for Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya, September 6, 2021: Farmers, heads of state and other government officials, scientists, and representatives of the private sector and civil society are gathering for the 11th edition of the AGRF Summit to engage on how to create a sustainable and resilient food system in Africa.

Themed “Pathways to Recovery and Resilient Food Systems”, this year’s forum will open up a robust conversation with various African leaders on ways to accelerate the process of building and developing Africa’s food systems. The Alliance of a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is one of the partners in the event hosted by the Government of Kenya.

Commenting on the summit that runs from September 7 to 10, AGRA President Dr Agnes Kalibata, emphasised the need to urgently address challenges hindering sustainable food systems such as poverty and hunger, adverse impacts of climate change and health issues.

“This is an opportunity for the continent to collaboratively define what needs to happen in order to get our food systems right. We need to focus on boosting our productivity and innovatively fixing our food system in its entirety to deliver food and nutrition security for all,” Dr. Agnes Kalibata said.

The AGRF 2021 Summit is critical for the future of Africa’s agriculture. It is a defining moment to highlight and unlock many of the political, policy, and financial commitments and innovations the continent has achieved and needed to advance the commitments made at the Malabo Heads of State Summit and towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This years’ event also features a Virtual 2021 Agribusiness Deal Room, a matchmaking platform that aims to drive new business deals and commitments. Through the Deal Room, companies in the agriculture and agribusiness sectors have an opportunity to access finance, mentorship, and market entry solutions to support their growth objectives. It also creates opportunities for governments to present investment opportunities, promote investment incentives and engage with interested investors. Participants will also explore trade deals and partnership opportunities that enhance sourcing from African smallholder farmers.

Other highlights of the AGRF 2021 Summit include: Farmers’ Forum, announcement of the Africa Food Prize 2021 and release of this year’s Africa Agriculture Status Report.

Also taking part in the summit is AGRA’s Board Chair and former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr Hailemariam Dessalegn.


About AGRA

AGRA is a farmer-centered, African-led, partnerships-driven institution that is working to transform smallholder farming from a solitary struggle to survive to a business that thrives. In collaboration with its partners—including African governments, researchers, development partners, the private sector and civil society— AGRA’s work primarily focuses on smallholder farmers – men and women who typically cultivate staple crops on two hectares or less. AGRA has learned a lot from efforts during its first decade and is now recognized across the continent as a strong voice for African rural development, a prosperous agricultural economy, and for supporting thousands of small African businesses and millions of African families to improve agriculture as a way to ensure food security and improve their livelihoods.

About the AGRF

The African Green Revolution Forum was first held in 2006 as the African Green Revolution Conference (AGRC), hosted by Yara International ASA in Norway. The conference moved to Africa in 2010 with the championing of former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, who oversaw its transition to an African identity. The Forum now consists of an annual event combined with thematic platforms and activities throughout the year to ensure continuous progress over time. Kenya is the third country, after Rwanda and Ghana, to host the event twice, having successfully hosted the 2016 edition. Afterwards, Rwanda will host the event in alternate years, having been named the home of the AGRF seat. Other AGRF member countries will host the Forum in the years between. In its current format, the AGRF is organized by the AGRF Partners Group, a coalition of institutions that care about Africa’s agriculture transformation. 

For Media Inquiries Contact:

Hudson Sandler

Evelyne Wangui: +254 726 087451

Eugene Ng’ang’a: +254 703 516173

Agrf.media@hudsonsandler.com

For more information on the AGRF agenda and partners, visit www.agrf.org.

Jul 28, 2021 | News, Press Release

AGRF and Heifer International Launch Pitch AgriHack 2021

Competition provides cash grants to innovators, increasing use of technology and creating jobs across Africa’s agricultural sector

Nairobi: The AGRF and Heifer International today announced the launch of Pitch AgriHack 2021, a competition focused on accelerating entrepreneurial growth and job creation in the agriculture sector by leveraging advanced technologies and youth participation in Africa’s
food security agenda. This seventh edition of Pitch AgriHack is a pitching contest aimed exclusively at African businesses bringing technological innovation to the agriculture sector. Generation Africa, a thematic platform of the AGRF will host the competition.

The open competition portion of Pitch AgriHack 2021 will support companies that are driving innovation in agriculture across three categories-Early-stage, Mature/Growth-stage, and Women-led, with prizes totalling US$45,000. A fourth invite-only category known as the AYuTe Africa Challenge, sponsored by Heifer International, will award up to $1.5 million in grants to scalable ventures that are already generating measurable impact for Africa’s smallholder farmers.

“As a continent with a thriving youth population, Africa’s agricultural sector must look to its youth for the innovation that will fuel the future growth of this strategically important sector,” said Adesuwa Ifedi, Senior Vice President for Africa Programs at Heifer International. “Integrating youth and technology in the agricultural sector will transform the continent, creating new jobs and income-generating opportunities for young Africans”.

In addition to its sponsorship of Pitch AgriHack 2021, Heifer International is partnering with Generation Africa to run this year’s competition. Both organizations have a shared vision of eradicating hunger and poverty through sustainable, community-led development that begins with agriculture.

“It’s a privilege to have an established and experienced non-profit organization like Heifer International on board,” said Head of Generation Africa, Dickson Naftali. “ At Generation Africa, we believe that food systems can change if we collaboratively support young African agrifood entrepreneurs. Pitch AgriHack 2021 can give access to the tools and expertise they
need to make their businesses successful.”

Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA and Special Envoy to the UN Food Systems Summit, said, “We are excited to welcome Heifer International as it partners with the AGRF and Generation Africa on Pitch AgriHack 2021. By working together, sharing knowledge, and
supporting mutually beneficial projects, we can make a bigger impact and drive agricultural transformation in Africa. We want young people across Africa to hear our message – the future of food and farming depends on them.”

Six winners will be selected from the open-application categories and two winners from the invite-only AYuTe Africa Challenge category, with winners announced at the AGRF Summit which takes place September 7-10 in Nairobi. Top contestants will receive a one-day boot
camp in preparation for their final pitches, with winners receiving continued support as they develop and grow their enterprises.

Business profiles of the finalists will also be published in a Deal Book for circulation at the AGRF and online, while individual profiles will be made public on the genafrica.org platform and reviewed for relevance to their investor community.

Applications are open July 27 to August 16, 2021

 

ABOUT HEIFER INTERNATIONAL
For 77 years, Heifer International has worked with more than 36 million people around the
world to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Working with rural communities
across Africa for 47 years, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to
strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income. For
information, visit https://www.heifer.org.

ABOUT GENERATION AFRICA
Generation Africa is a thematic platform of the AGRF, whose mandate is to strengthen the
ecosystem for youth entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector across Africa. From its start in
2019, Generation Africa has brought together industry leaders, government institutions,
NGOs, NPOs, and community platforms to collaborate on ecosystem development, curation
and support of agribusinesses, research and advocacy, and the inspiration of young people
to embrace opportunities in the agrifood sector. Find out more at https://genafrica.org

ABOUT THE AGRF
The AGRF is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture, bringing together
stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that
will move African agriculture forward. Under AGRF’s current strategy, the Forum is
particularly focused on driving progress of the Malabo Declaration by 2025 as the priority set
of commitments African Heads of State and Government have made to strengthen
agricultural development at the centre of the continent’s overall development and progress.
The AGRF is organised by the AGRF Partners Group, a coalition of institutions that care
about Africa’s agriculture transformation. For more information visit https://agrf.org

Contact: Jane Machigere
jane@jsmcommunications.com
www.genafrica.org

Jul 8, 2021 | News, Press Release

AGRF stakeholders calls for strong leadership as Africa defines its vision for the future of food systems in the upcoming AGRF 2021 Summit in September

The AGRF 2021 Summit program will feature new commitments to the Future Food Systems on equitable livelihoods, nutrition & health, resilience, and competitiveness.

Nairobi, Kenya, July 8, 2021— A line up of 500 guests, including governments, private sector, youth, women leaders and farmer organization will convene in Nairobi, Kenya on September 6-10 for the AGRF 2021 Summit under the leadership of H.E Uhuru Kenyatta. They are expected to be joined virtually by over 10,000 delegates from more than 150 countries for the Summit, which will focus on accelerating progress towards the development of resilient food systems on the continent.

Under the theme of Pathways to Recovery and Resilient Food Systems, this year’s AGRF Summit will put a spotlight on new commitments to the future of African food systems and showcase how resilience will be built out of leadership at all levels.

The Summit will have a special focus on the role of women and youth in transforming Africa’s food systems with various issues faced by these groups expected to dominate the discussions at the First Ladies Forum and the Youth Hall respectively.

The former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and AGRF Board Chair, H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, said that he was inspired to see Africans leaders make Agriculture as priority but noted that a lot more needed to be done.

“Now more than ever we must prioritise inclusive agricultural transformation. We must work collaboratively
to ensure that policy, technology and finances respond to the needs of our farmers. This is critical to achieve
zero hunger across the continent and around the globe. H.E. Dessalegn added.

Co-organized with the Government of Kenya, with the support of 26 partner institutions, this year’s Summit comes at a pivotal time when global voices convene under the Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) to shift the conversation on how food is produced and consumed and the role it plays to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

As part of its contribution to the UNFSS, the AGRF 2021 Summit aims to elevate the single, coordinated African voice, by identifying immediate actions and steps to be taken to accelerate progress towards the development of resilient food systems.

Representing the host government, Kenya’s Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, the Hon. Peter Munya, said the conversation at the AGRF needs to extend beyond agriculture and consider the food system from farm to fork.

“We must change the way we approach and prioritize food systems on the continent. We can no longer
limit food systems to the farm. Our approach must reflect the complexity and importance of food systems
and value of collaboration, as governments, the private sector, development partners and consumers, to
deliver more inclusive and resilient food systems on the continent,” he said.

COVID-19 highlighted the fragility of the continent’s food systems. Lockdowns, curfews and illnesses revealed threats in supply throughout Africa, and the pandemic was another example of the need to build more resilient food systems on the continent. Since 2014, droughts have cost the region US$372 billion. While the worst locust outbreak in a generation in Ethiopia and Somalia during 2019/20 destroyed over 356,000MT of cereals and almost 1.5 million hectares of crop and pasture in Ethiopia.

The AGRF 2021 Summit will provide a platform for all stakeholders to align on the actions and commitments needed to build resilient food systems which end hunger and support the delivery of the sustainable development goals.

Jennifer Baarn, Acting Managing Director AGRF said, the AGRF 2021 Summit is a defining moment for Africa’s food systems. “This is our time to create our own vision for Africa’s food systems,” she said. It is our time to listen, innovate, plan and invest for Africa. What we invest in African agriculture today will determine the future of food in Africa and the world tomorrow,” she added.

Some of the key highlights at this year’s AGRF 2021 Summit will include the Agribusiness Deal Room, a platform connecting entrepreneurs and governments with investors. This year the deal room is aiming to showcase a pipeline of USD 5 billion of investment opportunities across Africa. The Summit will also feature the Africa Food Prize, a Presidential Summit, and a Ministerial Roundtable.

This year’s launch attracted among other dignitaries, Hon. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda, and Hon. Salifou Ouedraogo, Minister of Agriculture, Bukina Faso. It was also graced by David Nabarro, Special Envoy on Covid-19 for the World Health Organisation; Godfrey Bahigwa, Director of Rural Economy and Agriculture at African Union Commission, among other guests.


For Media Inquiries Contact:

Eugene Ng’ang’a
enganga@hudsonsandler.com
Tel +254 703 516 173

About the AGRF

The AGRF is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture, bringing together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward. Under AGRF’s current strategy, the Forum is particularly focused on driving progress of the Malabo Declaration by 2025 as the priority set of commitments African Heads of State and Government have made to strengthen agricultural development at the center of the continent’s overall development and progress.
The AGRF is organised by the AGRF Partners Group, a coalition of institutions that care about Africa’s agriculture transformation.

About the AGRF Partner’s Group
The AGRF Partners Group is made up of 26 leading actors in African agriculture all focused on putting farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economies. Members include: African Development Bank (AfDB), African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), African Union Commission (AUC), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Bayer AG, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CGIAR System Organization, Corteva Agriscience, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO),
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Government of Rwanda, Grow Africa (AUDA-NEPAD), Heifer International, IKEA Foundation, International Development Research Center (IDRC), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mastercard Foundation, OCP Group, Rockefeller Foundation, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), Syngenta Foundation, The Tony Blair Institute, UPL Limited,
US Agency for International Development (USAID), Yara International ASA.