African leaders, business people and major development partners pledged more than 30billion US dollars in investments to increase production, income and employment for small scale farmers and local African agricultural businesses over the next ten years.
The collective pledges at the African Green Revolution Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, are believed to represent the largest package of financial commitment to agricultural sector in Africa to date.
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, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), key NGOs, companies and donor countries.
While agriculture in Africa has seen significant progress in the last ten years, the ‘Seize the Moment’ campaign is a frank acknowledgement that much more is needed for African countries to achieve inclusive economic development and ultimately realise the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The campaign is decisive push for the political, policy and financial commitments essential to transform Africa’s agricultural sector.
The goal: A new era of business opportunities for the 70 per cent of 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 Uhuru Kenyatta officially opened the AGRA 2016 by laying out a bold vision of how agricultural transformation should play out in Kenya and across Africa.
Committing himself to deliver on both political and policy agenda, President Kenyatta announced his government will invest USD 200 million so that at least 150,000 young farmers and young agricultural entrepreneurs can gain access to markets, finance and insurance.
He called on his fellow leaders across Africa to step up and invest aggressively over the five years in agriculture related endeavours.