Four days, 10,400 voices, speaking to the need for inclusive agricultural transformation. Farmers, Presidents, entrepreneurs, and others coming together around belief in Africa, belief in opportunity, belief in agriculture as a driver of sustainable development.
This year’s AGRF was held at a critical time when the world is facing economic and health challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The AGRF Partners Group co-hosted the convention together with the Government of Rwanda, under the leadership of H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda. The forum was conducted in a hybrid format, partially online and partially at its appointed venue, the Kigali Convention Center, in Kigali, Rwanda.
The AGRF 2020 mission remained to bring people together to transform agriculture, raise productivity for farmers and increase incomes – for smallholder farmers especially; an agenda that is more relevant at this time of crisis than ever before. The driving force was the realization that Africa can only transform with African solutions, African energies and partnerships across the continent and the world.
On this note, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and a member of the AGRF Partners Group, said: “We must not relent in our effort to transform food systems for the benefit of everyone and build stronger, resilient and more sustainable food systems.”
The virtual summit 2020 registered the largest ever attendance in the history of the conference, with over 10,400 delegates and 320 speakers from 113 countries taking part in the four days of the event. In comparison, last year 2,300 participants were in Accra, Ghana for the ninth edition. Among the distinguished delegates at this year’s event were current and former presidents and heads of government, ministers, governors, mayors and leaders of international agencies, including the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU).
This year’s AGRF Summit had the most active social media engagement comprising 450 Million impressions, up 64% on last year. This engagement was driven by the diversity of conversations at the virtual summit, which was held under the theme: Feed the Cities Leveraging Urban Food Markets to Achieve Sustainable Food Systems in Africa.
In the four days of the event, heads of state, government officials, political leaders, members of the civil society, private sector players, scientists and farmers engaged one another in discussions on how to leverage the growing urban demand to design flourishing agricultural food systems that are resilient and can withstand shocks, such as COVID-19, climate change and locust and pest invasions.
2020 African Agricultural Status Report – AASR
Guiding the discussions was the African Agricultural Status Report (AASR), aptly titled: Feeding Africa’s Cities Opportunities, Challenges, and Policies for Linking African Farmers with Growing Urban Food Markets. The report asserts that Africa’s cities currently provide the largest and most rapidly growing agricultural markets in the continent; markets which yield roughly US$200 to US$250 billion per year in food sales. Over 80 percent of the urban food sales, the AASR says, comes from domestic African suppliers. Launching the AASR, Andrew Cox, AGRA’s Chief of Strategy noted, “We must see better urban food system governance, more efficient urban wholesale markets, food safety regulation, harmonization of regional trade and ag policies, and better application of agriculture research around high value and growth food commodities.”
Read the full report in the link below;
“In the coming decades, demographic projections forecast rates of African urbanization as the highest in the world. Today — and even more so tomorrow — Africa’s rapidly growing cities and food markets offer the largest and fastest growing market opportunity available to the continent’s 60 million farms,” reads the report, in part.