CTA & Partners at GFIA Africa

International Conference

Developing agribusiness to advance African agriculture

Developing agribusiness to advance African agriculture will be the topic of the 3rd PAFO Continental Briefing that CTA is organising with the Panafrican Farmers’ Organization (PAFO), part of an annual series of Briefings addressing the most pertinent issues for African farmers. The briefing will take place in Durban, South Africa, from 28−29 November 2015, in the context of the inaugural Africa edition of the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA), which takes place from 1−2 December 2015.

Innovative ways to do business

“Africa must take ownership of its agriculture,” argued PAFO President Dr Theo de Jager at COP 20, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Peru in 2014. This means that  in order to feed itself, Africa must transform its agriculture and agro-industry, a development challenge that depends on small-scale farmers as the primary investors in African agriculture. 

Linking farmers to markets

Farmers need to be linked to local, regional and international markets through value chains, in order to increase profits, respond to consumer demand and take advantage of new opportunities. To succeed, this will require increases in finance and investment at all levels of the food chain, especially in terms of improving smallholders access to finance.

Data-driven farming

‘Big Data’ – the huge amount of information available through the digital data revolution – offers enormous potential to develop innovative products and services to benefit agriculture. For example, precision agriculture, which is closely associated with large-scale farms in developed countries, uses a range of sensors that allow farmers to gather data on vast tracts of land. Such technologies are becoming more accessible in developing countries (e.g. see here). The challenge is to create a conducive environment that promotes their use, and encourages farmers to take advantage of Big Data.

The ICT revolution continues

Cheaper forms of communication, such as mobile phones and their networks, have made critical information accessible to farmers, small traders and business (e.g. read Ahmed Wakea's story). Better information is one of the most effective drivers of change in developing country agriculture. It is essential to continue to improve access to reliable and timely information, especially on the pricing of agricultural products.

The way forward

The Briefing will highlight the key opportunities in agribusiness development for farmers’ organisations; promote public–private partnerships that support agribusiness development; and identify new opportunities in data technologies that support agribusiness and agricultural development in the continent. From these, a plan of action will be developed, to feed into the GFIA itself.

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Watch a video on the perspective of input suppliers, which will be further discussed at GFIA Africa on Sunday 29 November from 9:00 to 11:00 in a session entitled "New opportunities for agribusiness development". CEO Erick Rajaonary will be there to share Guanomad's experience.