AGRF Agribusiness Dealroom officially launched
Agripreneurs and investors can now engage in the 2021 Agribusiness Dealroom after its official launch on Day 1 of the AGRF Summit in Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday September 7, 2021.
The Dealroom provides businesses in the agriculture and food value chains with 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, and incentives for different investors.
These objectives are achieved through partnerships in project preparation, pipeline development, project bankability, investment promotion, and by enabling policy environment.
Participants in the Dealroom also explore trade deals and partnership opportunities that enhance sourcing from African smallholder farmers.
This year’s Dealroom was unveiled at a ceremony that brought together panellists from governments, the private sector and development organizations to discuss the investment opportunities arising from the continent’s pursuit of food systems transformation.
The session began with representatives from Kenya’s national and county governments, who presented the investment opportunities available in the country’s agriculture and food sectors.
Thule Lenneiye, the coordinator for agricultural transformation in Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, gave a presentation that highlighted new opportunities emerging from the Government of Kenya’s new projects, including an agri-processing hub planned for development in Naivasha, some 100km northwest of the country’s capital.
“The government of Kenya is developing a USD55 million agri-processing hub with an annual output capacity of 320k tons, and which is set to create 27,455 jobs,” she said.
Fellow speaker Hon. James Nyoro, the governor of Kiambu County, made a case for partnerships between governments, development partners and the private sector, citing the success of a project by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) that helped transform extension support in the region.
“I am happy that AGRA has been working with us to introduce a Village-based Advisor (VBA) model in Kiambu County that has helped increase the availability of extension services to our farmers – we now have 1200 VBAs serving farmers in Kiambu county,” he said.
In the second half of the session, Sean de Cleene, Member of the World Economic Forum’s Executive Committee, and Vanessa Adams, AGRA’s Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Chief of Party, moderated fireside chats and panel discussions that covered varied topics, including the role of private sector investment in driving inclusive agricultural transformation.
In the conversations, the Dealroom was hailed as the best platform to initiate partnerships that would deliver food security and increased household incomes in Africa.
“The Dealroom provides the tools that SMEs need to facilitate business connections and increase access to finance” – said Mark Meassick, the Mission Director at USAID-Kenya.
The Dealroom will remain active in the entire duration of the AGRF 2021 Summit, which ends on Friday, September 10, 2021. Interactions made at the Dealroom could, however, extend beyond the Summit.