By Fortune Eromosele

The 2021 Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) was a hybrid summit with the theme “Pathways to Recovery and Resilient Food Systems” hosted in partnership with the Government of Kenya.

The AGRF 2021 Summit kicked off in Nairobi, Kenya convening close to 7,000 participants virtually, including African presidents, agriculture ministers, agricultural stakeholders and experts to discuss ways the continent can transform food systems and accelerate progress to eradicating hunger and poverty.

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Board Chair H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn said that the Summit marks a defining moment for transforming the continent’s food systems. He said, “Africa’s agriculture transformation will only happen if we collectively decide to advance past commitments.

“We know the binding constraints that have hindered progress in achieving national and continental agriculture priorities. This Summit brings us together to collaborate and hone our leadership and technical skills useful in unlocking sector implementation challenges. By actioning commitments and discussing challenges on our way, we can partner to empower African communities.”

The Nigeria Agribusiness Deal Room session covered investment opportunities in oil palm, cassava and livestock value chain in Kaduna State. It was presented by a team of government technical experts. “Kaduna state owns 10 percent of the national livestock population, ranks as the 3rd largest producer of ginger in the world and is the largest producer of ginger and maize in Nigeria” according to Mrs. Umma Yusuf Aboki. “Cassava is one of 10 commodities that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will provide special interventions to increase domestic production”, she added.

Recall that on August 17, 2021, the AGRF had launched the agribusiness deal room in Abuja, with the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, present at the launch of the platform, where he stated that the platform provides opportunities for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to participate in the forum that would enhance the growth of their businesses.

Five of Africa’s presidents met at the AGRF Summit to review strategies for fast-tracking Africa’s food system transformation. The five were: host Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Dr. Lazarus Chakwera (Malawi), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), and Hage Geingob of Namibia.

Joining them in a panel discussion were Tanzania’s Vice President Dr. Philip Mpango, IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo, Josefa Sacko, the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the Africa Union Commission, Salamatu Garba, the Senior Gender Specialist at UNDP-GEF Project, and Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group. The session was moderated by Dr. Vera Songwe, theUnited Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa.

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