Last week saw around 400 business and development community delegates from 50 countries come together in Johannesburg to discuss how to foster inclusive growth in the agri-food sector by engaging the private sector (download the press release).
The AgriBusiness Forum 2011, co-hosted by the UNDP and the European Marketing Research Centre (EMRC), culminated in the “Johannesburg Declaration on Private Sector Engagement to Further Africa’s Agribusiness, Food Security and Nutrition Agenda” (download the Declaration).
The Declaration urges the public and private sector to increase collaboration, accelerate growth of agri-food industry and value chain development, amongst other priorities. Development partners are urged to contribute through increased activities, resources and coordination. The Declaration also pledged to redouble efforts to create a conducive investment environment and to improve the ease of doing business on the continent.
Speaking at the event, Dr Agostinho Zacarias, UNDP’s Resident Representative to South Africa, said success in food security would be achieved if small producers were made part of the value chain thereby creating markets for the services and goods and jobs.
South Sudan’s Agriculture minister Betty Achan Ogwaro called on investors to explore the many farming and business opportunity which Africa’s newest country has to offer, following independence from Sudan on July 9 this year.
A special EMRC-Rabobank Project Incubator Award, which is held annually encourage rural development innovation and entrepreneurship agricultural sector this year presented an award to Evelyne Cherobon, a programme director for the Emeden Project in Kenya - for its integrated development model for smallholder farmers. She received a cash prize of US$15.000.