Sep 15, 2021 | Press Release

Agriculture stakeholders commit to holistic, inclusive approach to transforming African food systems

Delegates attending AGRF 2021 Summit from across the agriculture ecosystem on the continent rally support

NAIROBI, Kenya, September 14, 2021: Leaders from across Africa renewed their commitment to adopt a more holistic and inclusive approach to food systems in Africa to better tackle hunger and poverty and improve nutrition while conserving natural resources.

The declaration was made at the conclusion of the 2021 AGRF Summit, which convened more than 8,000 delegates from 103 countries, including six African Heads of State, 20 ministers, global business leaders, farmers, private agribusiness firms, financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups, scientists, and international development partners.

Delegates called for a change in the way food is produced, processed, marketed and consumed in Africa and for reduction of food waste. Solutions they advised/proposed included boosting smallholder farmer productivity, investment in agribusinesses alongside access for all to safe and nutritious food.

“We know that a failure to change will make it impossible to achieve the key sustainable development goal of ending hunger by 2030.  Hunger and poverty in Africa can only end with resilient food systems,” the delegates stated in a declaration.

Speaking during the closing ceremony, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Board Chair of AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa), H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn said: “This is a turning point in Africa’s agriculture. We should do things differently by taking a more integrated approach to food systems. It begins with agriculture but goes right through the business of food until it ends on our plate and in our trash.  In recognising importance of food systems and how they can drive economic growth, we must take a holistic sustainable agricultural transformation, thinking the whole way from production to consumption.”

H.E. Dessalegn added: “The task of transforming our food systems is for all of us. If we all do our bit, we will make it”.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Peter Munya said: “The summit has helped us to recommit to the goals we set for ourselves as a continent, and individual countries, to end hunger by 2030. It is possible to deliver this because we have the resources, experience and knowledge and are mobilising the will. We need to support the young people of Africa to get involved in agriculture because there is no future without them.”

Coming ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit, the AGRF 2021 Summit provided an opportunity to elevate Africa’s common position, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. This included enhancing the resilience of Africa’s food system from external shocks, its fragility having been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Agnes Kalibata, AGRA’s President said: “The wide representation and participation at the summit has helped clarify Africa’s position on food systems transformation.  The summit showed that we know how to reduce hunger and malnutrition and tackle obesity, but we can only do this by working  together. We need to double down and come together to fix our broken food systems and meet the [SDG} goal of zero hunger by 2030.  It is only by working together that we can help deliver food security and prosperity for people and our planet!”

The AGRF 2021 Summit, whose theme was ‘Pathways to Recovery and Resilient Food Systems’, had over 700 speakers. The summit featured commitments on renewable energy, youth and women empowerment, and establishment of value chains.

It also led to the building of the emerging coalition of action for Decent Work and Living Incomes and the 43 game changing solutions, representing a coordinated African voice, that are being taken to the UNFSS.

The summit gathered consensus on the role of youth and women, as well as innovative technology to revitalise agricultural productivity and support farmers to build back better from effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, to feed the growing population.

During the summit, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) was named 2021 Africa Food Prize laureate, for its work in improving food security across 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The Africa Agriculture Status Report 2021 was also launched, indicating that sub-Saharan Africa has had the fastest growth in agricultural production since 2000.

Jennifer Baarn, Acting Managing Director at the AGRF reaffirmed the forum’s commitment to advancing the actions towards 2030 to help identify pathways towards sustainable food systems in the continent. “We will be taking all the threads of prosperity, people and planet that have run through this summit and thinking about how that shapes our future work,” she said.


About 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.   For more Information: https://agrf.org/ or contact agrf-media@hudsonsandler.com

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, Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), 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

Sep 8, 2021 | Press Release

ICRISAT awarded 2021 Africa Food Prize

Recognized for helping 25 million farmers in 13 countries to improve income and food production

Nairobi, Kenya, September 8, 2021 – The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has been awarded the 2021 Africa Food Prize, for work that has improved food security across 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

ICRISAT, a CGIAR Research Center, is a non-profit, non-political public international research organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world.

Between 2007 and 2019, ICRISAT led a collaboration of partners to deliver the Tropical Legumes Project. The project, undertaken together with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), developed 266 improved legume varieties and almost half a million tons of seed for a range of legume crops, including cowpeas, pigeon peas, chickpea, common bean, groundnut, and soybean. These new varieties have helped over 25 million smallholder farmers become more resilient to climate change, as well as pest and disease outbreaks.

In addition to these new varieties, the project trained 52 scientists, who are already working in national research institutes across the continent. Training these next generation scientists in the countries where the projects were implemented, has helped strengthen the research capacity of national agricultural research systems in Africa and contributed to sustaining the gains the projects have made.

Congratulating the winner, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, the Chair of the Africa Food Prize Committee and former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, said: “ICRISAT’s leadership in developing seeds that not only end malnutrition but also survive in semi-arid areas is inspiring other agricultural organisations to rethink seed development and farming practices that suit and solve Africa’s agricultural challenges.”

“Their work is also important as it provides an inclusive approach that supports the whole agricultural value chain, from farm to fork, providing farmers with farming tools and a market for their produce,’’ he said.

Accepting the award, Dr. Jacqueline d’Arros Hughes, ICRISAT Director General, said the Institute’s work spanned the entire value chain, from high-end genomics to markets and agri-business in dryland cropping systems.

“We also empower women and attract youth back to agriculture using the latest tools and technologies available to make farming profitable.

“The Africa Food Prize is a major accolade and recognition of ICRISAT’s work in Africa and reinforces our belief that agriculture can be profitable for smallholder farmers. It is also testament to the work of our close collaborators, the national agriculture research and extension systems, without whose support this would not have been possible.

“We dedicate this award to the smallholder farmers in the drylands of Africa, as they are the ones who inspire us with their patience and perseverance in the face of adversity,” said Dr. Hughes.

Dryland ecosystems cover 45 per cent of Africa’s landmass and feed and support almost half a billion people. However, these systems are fragile and prone to the effects of climate change and environmental degradation.

Programs like the Tropical Legumes projects help the millions of smallholder farmers relying on drylands ecosystems to grow more food and become more resilient in the face of climate change. The project has been implemented in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

The Africa Food Prize recognizes outstanding African individuals and institutions leading efforts in the following areas: transformation of Africa’s foods systems; promotion of sustainable agricultural practices; support for smallholder farmers to raise incomes; resilience in the wake of climate change impacts; and access to high quality agricultural inputs, knowledge, and equipment. The award, that includes a $100,000 prize, celebrates those changing the reality of farming in Africa from a struggle practice to a business that lifts communities out of poverty.

Key impacts of the Tropical Legume Project

  • Groundnut crop interventions demonstrated 32.35% increase in income, 6.72% households lifted out of poverty and 14% out of food insecurity.
  • Ten groundnut varieties, including six high-yielding, drought-tolerant ones and four ELS, released in Mali.
  • Seven groundnut varieties, with traits such as aflatoxin tolerance, early maturing, drought tolerance etc. released.
  • In India, chickpea national program on developing improved varieties resulted in area enhancement up to 68%.
  • Chickpea program in Ethiopia won a national award in 2013 for science and innovation.
  • Seven-fold increase in number of improved common bean variety releases from 2011 to 2018.

Africa Food Prize – Previous winners

2020

Last year Dr. André Bationo and Dr. Catherine Nakalembe won the Africa Food Prize for their exceptional contribution towards the promotion of food security across the continent.

2019

In 2019, Dr. Emma Naluyima, a smallholder farmer and private veterinarian from Uganda, and Baba Dioum, a policy champion and agricultural entrepreneur from Senegal were recognized for their remarkable achievements in demonstrating and promoting innovative and sustainable growth in Africa’s agriculture through improved resource use and market links.

2018

The 2018 AFP award went to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for its leadership in generating agricultural research and technologies that have improved food security, nutrition, and incomes for millions of people across Africa.

2017

The 2017 winners were Kenyan professor Ruth Oniang’o and Malian Mme Maïmouna Sidibe Coulibaly, who were jointly recognized for their exemplary efforts in driving Africa’s agriculture transformation.

2016

While in 2016 the AFP was awarded to Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze, a Nigerian and the former President of the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Dr. Nwanze was recognized for his outstanding leadership in putting Africa´s smallholder farmers at the center of the global agricultural agenda.


About the Africa Food Prize

The Africa Food Prize recognizes extraordinary women, men, and institutions whose outstanding contributions to African agriculture are forging a new era of sustainable food security and economic opportunity that elevates all Africans. The US $100,000 prize celebrates Africans who are taking control of Africa’s agriculture agenda. It puts a spotlight on bold initiatives and technical innovations that can be replicated across the continent to create a new era of food security and economic opportunity for all Africans.

Building on the values and principles established by the Yara Prize, the Africa Food Prize puts a bright spotlight on achievements and innovations with transformative power that can be scaled and replicated across the continent to eliminate hunger and poverty and provide a vital new source of employment and income.

The Africa Food prize is enabled by the sponsorship of Yara International and Corteva. The prize recognises exceptional individuals and institutions improving food security and catalyzing innovation and transformative change in Africa’s agricultural sector from amongst nominees. It is awarded every year during the annual AGRF Summit.

For media inquiries contact:

Agrf.media@hudsonsandler.com

Sep 7, 2021 | Press Release

AGRF 2021 Summit kicks off to transform Africa’s food systems

Stakeholders call for investment, collaboration and inclusivity in agriculture; a post pandemic priority to tackle hunger and grow value of Africa’s agricultural sector

Nairobi September 7, 2021 – The AGRF 2021 Summit kicked off today in Nairobi, Kenya convening close to 7,000 participants virtually, including African presidents, agriculture Ministers, agricultural stakeholders and experts to discuss ways the continent can transform food systems and accelerate progress to eradicating hunger and poverty.

Hosted by the Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Agriculture, the summit starts today and will run till Friday, 10th September under the theme of ‘Pathways to recovery and resilient food systems. In line with the upcoming global UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), the AGRF Summit intends to unite and elevate a single coordinated voice to the UNFSS, that will call for accelerated progress and post pandemic recovery towards inclusive agricultural transformation.

Kenyan president, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, will lead a presidential summit comprising 10 African heads of State to review the gains made in Africa’s agricultural landscape. The Summit will also advocate for the implementation of policy and political decisions necessary to drive food systems transformation on the continent.

This year’s Summit will include a commitments showcase, where AGRF partners and key stakeholders will highlight initiatives and commitments to transform food systems and accelerate Africa’s delivery of the 2030 targets.  

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Board Chair H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn said that the Summit marks a defining moment for transforming the continent’s food systems.

“Africa’s agriculture transformation will only happen if we collectively decide to advance past commitments. We know the binding constraints that have hindered progress in achieving national and continental agriculture priorities. This Summit brings us together to collaborate and hone our leadership and technical skills useful in unlocking sector implementation challenges. By actioning commitments and discussing challenges on our way, we can partner to empower African communities.”

A key session during the Summit includes a Farmers’ Forum. The forum, will put a spotlight on the continent’s farmers and discuss pathways to ensure they are thriving and contributing to building resilient food systems for the continent. Summit sessions will also look at how youth and women can be included and engaged to transform the continent’s food systems capitalizing

on their large numbers and education capacity, helping to provide guidance for policy, and evidence-based approaches that foster productive participation.

Kenya’s Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and   Cooperatives, Hon. Peter Munya, said youth and women need to be the cornerstone of any solution for transforming Africa’s food systems.

“Engaging the youth and women in achieving food systems transformation is key to realising inclusive progress in the agriculture sector. Today, African youth and women represent an indispensable resource and as Government, we are tasked to ensure their energies and talents work to achieve our nation’s food and nutrition agenda. The Youth Town Hall during this summit will be integral for leaders and agricultural stakeholders to listen and chart ways the youth can be employed to advance food systems transformation, and I hope this roadmap will be embraced by other African countries.”

The Acting Managing Director AGRF, Ms. Jennifer Baarn said: “The AGRF 2021 Summit is critical for Africa’s agricultural and food systems development. However, if we do not advance the commitments we make today and throughout this week, we will not get to zero hunger.  As Africa reels and rebuilds from the impact of COVID-19, rebuilding efforts must include smallholder farmers, the youth and women as they represent a sizeable percentage of Africa’s population. Our discussions should be inclusive and our plans hereafter should be achievable.”


Media contactagrf-media@hudsonsandler.com

Evelyne Wangui – +254 726 087 451

Eugene Nganga – +254 703 516 173


About 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.   https://agrf.org/

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, Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), 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. 

| Press Release

Africa Agriculture Status Report 2021 Unveiled at AGRF Summit in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya September 7, 2021: The 2021 Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR21) was launched today at the AGRF Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. The report addresses the challenges and opportunities in the creation of sustainable and resilient agri-food systems in Africa. It explores what Building Resilient and Sustainable Food Africa Systems entails, and calls for the necessary actions by governments, pan-African organizations, bilateral and multilateral development partners, and the private sector. 

“This year’s AASR21 details the practical steps all stakeholders from governments and regional organizations to the private sector need to take to rebuild and enhance Africa’s food systems,” said Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that despite the progress we’ve made over the last decade, Africa’s food systems remain fragile to external shocks. We must take the opportunity we have to rebuild from the pandemic, to make our food systems more resilient without putting further pressure on the environment,” Dr Kalibata added.

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has registered the most rapid rate of agricultural production growth since 2000 of any region of the world. However, three quarters of this growth is driven by the expansion of crop land, over yield increases.

With Africa’s population expected to double to nearly 2,5 billion by 2050, now is the time for stakeholders to put the steps in place to increase production without compromising the continent’s natural resources.

“Raising yields and productivity on existing farmland is among the most important ways to make African food systems more resilient and sustainable. Raising productivity on existing farmland will reduce pressures for continued expansion of cropland, and preserve valued forest and grassland ecosystems and the biodiversity that they provide,” said Andrew Cox, AGRA’s Chief of Staff and Strategy.

The report outlines the priorities and next steps that must be taken by all stakeholders to achieve the transformation that will lead to sustainable and resilient agri-food systems. “The AASR21 should serve as a wake-up call of the need to act urgently to support the creation of resilient food systems and reverse or mitigate the impact we’ve seen on the environment,” said Dr. Thom Jayne of Michigan State University, and lead author of the report.

“One of the first steps is meaningfully increase public investments in agricultural research, development and extension. While agricultural R&D spending has risen over the years, in SSA public investments amount to less than 1 percent of the agricultural GDP in most countries,” Dr. Jayne added.

The report further builds on the call to action to African governments from the UN Food Systems Summit, recognizing the need for urgency in this last decade of the global effort to realize the sustainable development goals (SDGs). 

The AASR21 was launched at the 11th edition of the AGRF Summit, an annual gathering that brings together heads of state and government, agriculture ministers, members of the civil society, private sector leaders, scientists and farmers in discussions that define the future of Africa’s food systems.

Under the theme Pathways to Recovery and Resilient Food Systems, this year’s AGRF Summit will explore the pathways and actions needed to steer the continent towards food systems that deliver sufficient and nutritious food, protect the environment and create sustainable jobs.


You can view the report here.

About the AASR

The Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR) is an annual publication that is published by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) since 2013. The AASR has become a reference point for emerging topics on agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa, such as Staple Crops (2013), Climate Change (2014), Youth in Agriculture (2015), Agricultural Transformation (2016), Smallholder Agriculture (2017), Government Capacity (2018), The Hidden Middle (2019) and Feeding Africa’s Cities (2020). The report has grown to be an important handbook for Africa’s leaders in their plans to transform the continent’s agricultural prospects. Among the trends observed in past reports include increased public private partnership, adoption of technology, use of improved agricultural inputs, a greater focus on capacity development and an expanded focus on extension services.

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.

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.

Sep 1, 2021 | Press Release

MEDIA ADVISORY: Invitation to attend the AGRF 2021 Summit

Nairobi, 1 September 2021 – The 2021 AGRF Summit will take place from 7th to 10th September 2021, hosted by the Government of Kenya under the leadership of President, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta.

As part of the contributions to the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), this year’s AGRF Summit, under the banner “Pathways to recovery and resilient food systems”, aims to elevate the single coordinated African voice to the UNFSS and identify immediate actions and steps that need to be taken to accelerate progress and recovery towards inclusive agricultural transformation.

What: The AGRF 2021 Summit

When: 7-10 September 2021

Where: Hybrid – physical (invitation only at Serena Hotel, Nairobi Kenya) & virtual

How:Register here to receive updates on the AGRF Summit and to join via link

Confirmed high-level speakers at the AGRF 2021 Summit include:

  1. H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta – President of the Republic of Kenya
  2. H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn – Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia & Chair of AGRF Partners
  3. Dr. Agnes Kalibata – President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
  4. Dr. Gilbert Houngbo – President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  5. Mr. William Asiko – Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Region Office
  6. Mr. Mark Meassick – Mission Director, USAID Kenya
  7. Ms. Jamie Anderson – Senior Financial Sector Specialist, Rural & Agricultural Livelihoods, CGAP/ World Bank Group
  8. Prof. Joachim von Braun – Chair, UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) Scientific Group
  9. Dr. Beth Dunford – Vice President Agriculture, Human and Social Development, African Development Bank
  10. Dr. Lawrence Haddad – Executive Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
  11. Dr. Simon Winter – Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation
  12. Mr. Ayodeji Balogun – Chief Executive Officer, AFEX Commodities Exchange, Nigeria
  13. Mr. Peter Bakker – Chief Executive Officer, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
  14. Mr. Kofi Kisiedu Acquaye – Africa Coordinator, Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD)
  15. Mr. Yassine Cherkaoui – Vice President, Strategy, Innovation and Analytics, OCP
  16. Mrs. Fernanda Lopes Larsen – Executive Vice President Africa & Asia, Yara International

Below are highlights of some discussions that will take place in key plenary sessions during the Summit.

Conference highlights


  1. Parallel sessions – Parallel sessions will advance AGRF’s ten thematic platforms, which have been prioritized for delivery under its current strategy against its goals
  2. Food systems pathways – This session features fascinating headliners and thought-provoking plenary sessions focusing on food systems pathways, and perspectives from regional dialogues from East, South, Central, West and North Africa.
  3. Special Events – These are designed to showcase ideas and trending innovations by the youth, farmers, and business leaders.
  4. VIP Events – AGRF 2021 will feature Heads of State, high-level delegates and eminent thought leaders discussing status of food systems in Africa and the urgent need to transform.
  5. Participatory Events – During the midday break, you can stretch your world and interact with the exhibition space and engage in participatory events. 
  6. Commitments Showcase – 15-minute highlights from AGRA countries’ value chain projects, and partners reflecting initiatives, returns on investment, and commitments.
  7. Deal Room – Throughout the week, the AGRF Deal Room will be operating with opportunities to interact, or pick through our Content Library, find inspirational materials, and spaces for participant voices.
  8. Food Systems Innovators – A series of 5-minute videos played during the bridge segments each morning. Each clip will feature a different African innovator with an emphasis on women, youth, and SMEs.  

Journalists are advised to register to attend the summit and to receive daily highlights and invitations to daily press conferences.

To follow the Summit virtually please register here – AGRF 2021 Summit

Due to COVID-19 restrictions in-person attendance by invitation only


For interview requests and more information on the Summit please contact:

AGRF Media Hudson Sandler – agrf.media@hudsonsandler.com

Tel: +254 727 641 921

Tel: +254 703 516173

Tel: 254 721 226 406

Follow summit highlights on:


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 organized by the

AGRF Partners Group, a coalition of institutions that care about Africa’s agriculture transformation. For more information, visit: https://agrf.org/.


About the AGRF Partners 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.

Aug 18, 2021 | Press Release

This is our time to get food systems right

A Food Systems Approach to Tackling Hunger and Poverty in Africa by 2030 

By H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn

For many decades, it has been perceived that the solution to food insecurity in Africa is increased agricultural productivity. While this is part of the solution, it is not the entire remedy. Without increasing resilience through integrated agricultural markets for cost-effective and nutritious foods, the continent’s food value chains continue to be broken.

This has been made clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted supply chains with breakdowns in everything from transport and communication, to finance and education.  The breakdown has led to widespread increases in global food insecurity, affecting vulnerable households in almost every country in Africa. With the effects of COVID-19 expected to continue through 2021 and into 2022, there are fears of a worsening food situation for the more than 20 percent of Africans – 272 million people – that are already living with or are at the risk of severe food insecurity. Such dire situations confirm that we have fallen back on our commitment to achieving zero hunger, a key Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).

However, just as the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us  to work differently, I believe it presents an opportunity to reimagine a new vision for the future of food systems in the continent.  This is our time to unite as one voice to define and coordinate our visions for the future of food systems in Africa.

Right now, we are working to repair significant damage caused by a variety of factors, including droughts that have cost Africa US$372 billion since 2014. We must not only recover from these losses but leapfrog them to build a resilient future. On this path, business and public leaders must come together to step forward and commit to the targets set by the United Nations as SDGs. It is important to note that there are just nine harvests left for us to achieve the SDGs, and  we are currently not  on target.

We also committed 10 percent of our budgets towards agriculture under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP),  a pledge that only a few countries have fulfilled! It is now our time to drive efforts to recommit to food and nutrition security and sustainable food systems across the continent. Sustainable food systems require us to look at the entire value chain from input supplies, mechanization, irrigation, extension, transport, processing, distribution and healthy consumption.

There are a number of countries that have instituted food systems that work for their realities, leading them to better feed their people while giving them stable livelihoods. The Government of Burkina Faso (GoBF), for example, is succeeding in increasing its domestic rice output through investments and policies that favour local production. The GoBF is working towards a production of at 1 million metric tonnes annually, which will reduce rice imports by over 75 percent. In Tanzania too, agro-industrialization flagships have increased the participation of women agripreneurs in manufacturing and processing, creating opportunities that did not exist before. The flagship seeks to increase the country’s total GDP by five percent, while creating one million jobs by 2025.

I have recently been to both Burkina Faso and Tanzania, as well as four other countries (Ethiopian, Kenya, Ghana, Malawi and Nigeria), where I personally witnessed the transformatory impact of investments including flagship projects in agricultural development. Lessons can be drawn from the most effective strategies in such countries, with the successful programs adapted to suit different country contexts.

To review the progress and commitments that will move the continent’s food systems forward stakeholders will coalesce at the AGRF 2021 Summit, in Nairobi Kenya from September 7 – 10. The AGRF 2021 Summit will feature pathways  to the future of Africa’s food systems based on equitable livelihoods, better nutrition, resilience in production and competitiveness in markets.

This year’s AGRF takes place at critical juncture in the global discussion on food systems. The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres has convened the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The AGRF 2021 Summit will leverage the UNFSS momentum to elevate the coordinated African voice in identifying immediate actions for accelerating the progress, partnerships and recovery towards an inclusive agricultural transformation.

This is our time to elevate the future leaders of African agriculture, particularly youth, women and small businesses owners throughout the food system; from farm to fork. We must from now resume our commitment to achieving zero hunger in the continent by taking critical steps towards integrated food systems.

We own the decision to participate and shape a vision that commits resources towards Africa’s food systems transformation. Will you join us? I look forward to welcoming you at this year’s AGRF Summit.

The writer is the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and current Board Chair of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

-ENDS

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.