Accelerating Africa’s Path to Prosperity: Notes from AGRF 2017

Launch of the Africa Agriculture Status Report (ASSR) 2017 “The Business of Smallholder Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa” at AGRF 2017.Photo: AGRF

Launch of the Africa Agriculture Status Report (ASSR) 2017 “The Business of Smallholder Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa” at AGRF 2017.Photo: AGRF

The 7th African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, between 4-8 September 2017, brought together public, private and non-government sectors to build collaborations towards the common objective of making smallholder farming in Africa profitable. This year’s meeting on inclusive economies and driving employment through agriculture saw a high-powered congregation of over 750 participants, among whom were several Heads of States, ministers of agriculture, representatives of development agencies, donor and private sector representatives, and farmer and civil society associations.

Several important reports were launched at the forum: the 2017 Africa Agriculture Status Report (ASSR) from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) discussed the changing nature of agriculture, focusing on diversity amongst smallholder farmers. It underlined the importance of recognizing that different farmers require diverse types of assistance, and the need to intensify agriculture sustainably while placing smallholders at the center of value chains.

The Malabo-Montpellier report on nutrition (2017) highlighted the achievements of the last 15 years with respect to the fight against hunger. Between 1990 and 2015, hunger dropped from 27.6% to 20% in Africa, but better coordination between programs, and investments in nutrition-impact assessments are required to make further gains to ensure nutrition for all. The report also flagged the need to intensify efforts towards biofortification for improved nutritional outcomes and asked partners to promote access to education on nutrition.

In tandem with the forum, the African Development Bank (AfDB) organized a consultation to discuss its flagship program, the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) framework, at its headquarters on 8 September 2017. Contributing partners of the program, including the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), ICRISAT, the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) were invited, among others.

The TAAT framework stresses on the deployment of context-appropriate, proven agricultural technologies to reach actors along different commodity value chains in order to achieve rapid agricultural transformation across Africa. It seeks to raise agricultural productivity along eight Priority Intervention Areas (PIAs), with ICRISAT leading the development on the intervention on Food and Nutrition Security in the Sahel.

As the executing agency (with other CG centers), IITA and other key implementing agencies pushed for a revised Protocol of Agreement during the consultation. Further it was decided that the Feed Africa Flagship Program – TAAT will be launched during the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium at the World Food Prize event in Iowa.

AGRF 2017 also highlighted the potential of using new technologies like digital tools and remote sensing for climate-crop advisories, and the use of cloud to improve knowledge-sharing and market linkages to transform African agriculture. Read reports from the conference here.

This work contributes to UN Sustainable Development Goal
1-no-poverty 7-decent-work 9-reduced-inequalities 17-partnerships-goals 

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