About the conference

The new generation in Africa is better educated than ever before. The African youth faces large opportunities and challenges for promoting development. Feeding Africa is a most urgent challenge. Food production in Africa is mainly in hands of smallholders and rural households. These producers are crucial for economic development and food security in urban and rural areas. Access to land, finance, knowledge, inputs and markets are critical for improving farmers’ yields and income. Dutch companies, government and NGOs have been working with African partners on these issues for decades.



Chairman of the conference: Andrew Makkinga

The slide show with quotes and questions by participants

Watch the video's on


Welcome by Mr Jos van Gennip, Chairperson foodFIRST and Socires Foundation
Text of the speech


Opening speech by Mr Berry Marttin, Executive Boardmember Rabobank


Keynote address by Mr Graziano da Silva, Director-General FAO
The text of the presentation


Questions audience


Speech Ms Sharon Dijksma, Dutch State Secretary  of Economic Affairs
Text of the speech


Questions audience


Coffee Break


Presentations by Michael Gitonga M’Kwiriga and Nils den Besten, dairy farmers


Questions audience


Speech by Mr Ishmael Sunga, CEO Southern African Confederation of Farmers Unions (SACAU)
Text of the speech


Secrets of smallholder farming and foodsecurity in Africa,
by Dr Steve Wiggins, Research Fellow, Agricultural Development and Policy, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK


Talk show “Makkinga meets …”

Hosts: Andrew Makkinga and Prof Dr Ruerd Ruben, WUR
Discussion with experts, audience and students

1 - How to make African smallholders more efficient – farming, food and finance?

Prof Bekele Shiferaw Executive Director of Partnership for Economic Policy (Ethiopia)
( His presentation)
Mr Kees Verbeek, former NMB bank director Tanzania (NL)
Mr Michael R.K. Legge, MFI sector (South Sudan)
Cynthia Makena, farmers organization (Kenya)

2 - How to invest in smallholders and food security in post conflict regions and fragile states?

Dr Lia van Wesenbeeck,VU University (NL)
Yaouba Kaigama, Cordaid Country Director DRCongo (Cameroon)
( Material to his pressentation)
Jan Omvlee, Rijk Zwaan (NL)


Tea break


Continuation of the talk show

3 - How to provide careers for young men and women in the rural agro-food sector?


Edii Mukibii, NGO school youth (Uganda)
Cynthia Makena, farmers organization (Kenya) | The slides of the presentation)
Gerishom Boiyo, IICD (Kenya)



Mrs Reina Buijs (Deputy DG International Cooperation Ministry of Foreign affairs)

Mrs Irene Visser (Director Netherlands African Business Council - NABC)

Henri van Eeghen (C.O.O. Board of Directors Cordaid)


“Taking stock and outlook”
by Prof Dr Ruerd Ruben and Prof Dr Arie Kuyvenhoven
The slides of the presentation)


Invite for drinks (till 18.30)



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[> Recommended Readings

[> In the press

[> Pictures

How to make African smallholders more efficient: farming, food and finance?

© Agriterra

How to invest in food security in post conflict regions and fragile states?

© Jojojojo | Dreamstime.com - Peace Sign Photo

How to provide rural careers for young men and women in the agro-food sector?

© World Bank

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