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AGRF: Leaders pledge Sh3 trillion to boost farming in Africa

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It was a blockbuster moment for African agriculture yesterday as African leaders, businesses, and major development partners pledged more than US $30 billion dollars in investments to increase production, income and employment for smallholder farmers and local African agriculture businesses over the next ten years.

The collective pledges at the AGRF are believed to represent the largest package of financial commitments to the African agricultural sector to date, backed by the broadest coalitions ever assembled in support of food production on the continent.

The commitments were made at the official opening of the sixth African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) that has attracted more than 1,500 influential figures from 40 countries for three days of brokering new agricultural initiatives.

 The historic investments represent just the first wave of support for the new “Seize the Moment” campaign, one backed by the African Union Commission, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), key NGOs, companies and donor countries.

While African agriculture has seen significant progress in the last ten years, the “Seize the Moment” campaign is a frank acknowledgment that much more is needed for African countries to achieve inclusive economic development—and ultimately realize the international community’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The campaign is a decisive push for the political, policy, and financial commitments essential to transforming Africa’s agricultural sector.

The goal: a new era of business opportunities for the 70 percent of the African population that depend on farming for food and income, yet too often face poverty and poor nutrition.

Joined by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Kenya’s President, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, officially opened AGRF 2016 by laying out a bold vision for how agriculture transformation should play out in Kenya and across Africa. Committing himself to deliver on both the political and policy agenda, President Kenyatta announced his government will invest US $200 million so at least 150,000 young farmers and young agriculture entrepreneurs can gain access to markets, finance, and insurance.

 He then called on his fellow heads of state across Africa to step-up and invest aggressively over the next five years in agriculture-related endeavors.

Gayle Smith, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), set the tone for the day with a call for investors and donors to be bold and do their part to achieve “A Food-Secure 2030”.

The US government already has invested more than $6.6 billion in global food security and nutrition efforts through its Feed the Future initiative.
This commitment is now locked in for the long-term following approval in July of the bipartisan Global Food Security Act legislation. Smith noted that the initiative “signals the US government’s enduring commitment to global food security and nutrition and is the largest development authorization the US Congress has made in a decade.”

Other agriculture investors and development partners announcing new financial and policy commitments included: The African Development Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group, OCP Africa, World Food Programme, Yara International ASA, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Additional new investments are expected at the three-day forum.

 Strive Masiyiwa, AGRF Partners Chairman and Founder and CEO of Econet recorded the specific commitments in detail and called for other investors and partners to join the “Seize the Moment” campaign during the year ahead.

President Kenyatta, as Chair of the African Peer Review Mechanism concluded the ceremony by calling for a continental scorecard that will measure and track the commitments to agriculture transformation and ensure they translate into action.

AGRF: Leaders pledge Sh3 trillion to boost farming in Africa Reviewed by on . It was a blockbuster moment for African agriculture yesterday as African leaders, businesses, and major development partners pledged more than US $30 billion do It was a blockbuster moment for African agriculture yesterday as African leaders, businesses, and major development partners pledged more than US $30 billion do Rating: 0
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