AFAP participates in Grow Africa

09 May 2013

The African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership’s (AFAP) President and CEO, Jason Scarpone and the Vice President, Richard Mkandawire attended the Grow Africa Agricultural Investment Forum (GAIF) in Cape Town, South Africa held on the 9th– 10th May.

The forum which boasted more than 300 participants- African heads of states, government officals and members of the private sector, engaged in a variety of interactive sessions to address opportunities, challenges and solutions to advance sustainable agricultural transformation in African Agriculture.

“This forum set up a much needed platform for strategic communication between the public and the private sectors of different African countries,” Mkandawire said, adding that such opportunities are hard to come by.

“Highlighted at the forum was the growing importance of private sector engagement in the agricultural sector,” said Mkandawire. “Private sector members who attended where enticed to investment opportunities in their respective countries.”

At the forefront of conversations was the potential of African agriculture to strengthen food security for the continent and the economic opportunities it presents.  Speakers noted that an enabling business environment and greater private-sector investments are needed to realise Africa’s potential to feed the world.

The role of fertilizer was highlighted in conversations about refining the agricultural sector in Africa.

“At the Forum, we, as AFAP were able to partake in important discussions with people who share in the goal of boosting African agricultural productivity through sector development plans, these are the relationships that we will work on sustaining,” Mkandawire said.

The GAIF partnership is coordinated by the African Union, New Partnership for Africa’s development and the World Economic Forum with the goal of galvanizing sustainable investment into African agriculture based on country-led priorities

GAIF builds upon the goals set by the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) of increased use of agricultural inputs, including fertilizer, as a means to ingnite and African Green Revolution.

In 2012, Grow Africa partners mobilised over USD 3.5 billion in new investment commitments, which have to date engaged over 800,000 farmers across eight African countries, with USD 300 million in sales from the farmers fed into the market system.

“By the end of the forum, there was a general consensus that with more private sector intervention, smallholder farmers will be able to contribute to the African Green Revolution, capable of feeding itself.”