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1 Value Chain Laboratory

Alternative evaluation method for assessing value chain dynamics. More to follow soon

2 Producer’s organizations to access urban markets

Farmers are not cheap producers of commodities. There is a transformation of rural areas happening: the rise of the organized producers who work out of a more industrialized approach. This new generation is looking for role models and for new forms of farmer's co-operations, and is open to local partnerships.

3 Private sector coalitions to feed African cities


The workshop will discuss the added value of Dutch international companies and SMEs in feeding cities in Africa. There will be African speakers who will present the perspective of local entrepreneurs and their expectations from the Dutch private sector. Inspiring initiatives will share their experiences in combining input from Dutch companies/SMEs, organizing collaboration and ways to enhance local entrepreneurship. Next to practical examples, there will be room for discussion on approaches of value chains, farming systems or sectors which are focused on strengthening the enabling environment for farms and firms. In addition, we will explore initiatives which represent a new, more systematic, more ambitious approach to build Dutch-African private sector coalitions.

The agri-food sector addresses the growing need for fresh and healthy food, enhances economic development, generates jobs and income. Dutch companies in agri-food, water and logistics have much to offer to local SMEs in Africa. This workshop focusses on increasing investments of Dutch companies in Africa, realizing that collaboration with knowledge institutes, education, NGOs and governments is often beneficial. Dutch companies do not only have products and services to offer but also knowledge and skills to implement integrated solutions. Coalitions of organizations are needed for sector change and cross sector solutions, which is a comparative advantage of the Netherlands. Obviously, connecting with local entrepreneurs and demand is central.

Envisioned outputs

  • Inspired participants by the success stories and lessons learned shared;
  • Concrete recommendations to improve Dutch efforts to invest in feeding African cities;
  • foodFIRST Agreement: Main conclusions of workshop including a list of organizations and coalitions presenting their initiatives.

For whom
This workshop is particularly interesting for larger companies, SMEs and representatives from intermediary organizations, NGOs, knowledge institutes, networks or policy makers who have experience in or would like to invest in food security (business) cases around cities in emerging economies.

Food & Business Knowledge Platform in close cooperation with MVO Netherlands as a partner in Innovation Network Feeding Cities. Various organizations and persons are contacted for advice on the focus and input to the programme, for example: BoP Inc/Business Accelerators, Topsector Agri&Food, Topsector Horticulture, Holland Horti International, AgriProFocus, RVO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, De Werkplaats.

4 Critical capital for African agrifood Entrepreneurs

Rabobank Foundation

Investments in the agri-food sector in Africa are essential to reach the SDGs in 2030 and combat hunger and poverty. It is estimated that agriculture and agribusiness could grow from $ 313 billion in 2010 to a $1 trillion in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2030. However, investments lag way behind the required amounts, especially in start-ups and early growth SMEs, the so-called ‘missing middle’. These SMEs are drivers of economic and social development and key for establishing sustainable food systems to supply the growing African cities.

Starting point is a research that was conducted in the last quarter of 2017. Pioneers in the field shared their insights how to ease investments in agri start-ups and early growth SMEs in Africa. During the workshop the outcome of the research will be presented through inspiring cases highlighting the needs, the innovative mechanisms for investment already in place and challenges which hamper increase in investment in start-ups and early growth agri-food sme’s. Together with the experts and participants we will explore and brainstorm about innovation and partnerships needed to take investing in the African agri-food sector to the next level.

For whom?
The workshop is especially meant for investors, venture capitalists, philanthropists, policymakers and BDS suppliers with experience in, or an interest in, bringing start-up and early growth agri-food SMEs to the next level. Participants are expected:
- to contribute their experience,
- get inspired by the research cases and other participants and
- contribute to definition of joint action needed to take agri-food start-ups and early growth SME’s to the next level.

The workshop is organized by ICCO Cooperation, Rabobank Foundation and AgriProFocus. The research report was supported by the Food & Business Knowledge Platform.

5 Youth and agripreneurship

F&BKP, YEP, AgriProFocus

Africa’s rapid population growth of youth is increasingly becoming a key priority on the development agenda. The “youth bulge” poses challenges on the demand for employment and for food security. On the other hand, youth play an important role in meeting the future challenges on access, availability and use of food in the context of population growth, urbanization, globalization and climate change.

The Food & Business Knowledge Platform, the Young Expert Programmes (YEP) and AgriProFocus will organize a session together during this conference, focusing on youth and agripreneurship. This session includes examples of bigger and smaller scale of youth contributing to agricultural transformation. Goal is to inspire and engage the audience, putting forward stimulating and thought provoking statements and showcasing young changemakers and their work in being the solution for agro-food challenges.

A key note speaker will start the session by offering the macro perspective on the topic of youth as contributors of agricultural transformation. Why (invest in) youth? What are successes (and perhaps fabulous failures)? This is followed by a “youth caravan”, offering inspiring stories from different young agripreneurs and young professionals active in various African countries.

During the lunch break, you can join us on this vibrant topic. A youth ‘market place’ will showcase organizations active in this field and there is a possibility of linking and learning, getting inspired as well as joining in mini-workshops.

6 From Rome to Abidjan to Utrecht: sustainable food systems


This workshop is about clarification of the debate, possible solutions, and the commitments by Dutch, European and African stakeholders, around policy and investments for more sustainable food systems (SFS) and climate-smarter agriculture (CSA), through relevant policy processes in Europe, Africa, AU-EU and global level.

One key way to foster food variety in our food systems is by supporting the production, processing, marketing, and consumption of neglected and underutilized species (NUS). Market systems, including certification and labeling for the sustainable promotion of NUS, and other parts of an enabling policy environment that make diversity of diets both affordable and attractive to the consumer, are game changers to achieve food security and sustainable food systems. In Africa, this would also contribute to the integration of territories along the urban-rural continuum, linking all the actors in the food system, from producers to consumers, and enabling in particular smallholders and small service providers to better supply urban and regional demand, thus taking advantage of burgeoning African food economies (i.e., supplying increasing food demand coming in particular from urban areas, given urbanisation trend, increasing purchasing power, and the resulting changing diets with higher consumption of high-value food products). Small entrepreneurs can indeed be protagonists of SFS and Private Sector for Development, given their share within total population, the sustainability of their farming and trading practices vis-a-vis the environment, their growth potential and their proximity to expanding urban areas (compared to food imports).
In an effort to inspire policy/practice linkages, and taking into account results of the Rome Ministerial and Abidjan Summit of AU and EU, this workshop will address all of the above and put forward a number of solutions, around issues such as: labels recognizing simultaneously the environmental-social-economic sustainability of traditional horticulture; trade and investment cooperation between Europe and Africa; use of the Green Climate Fund to finance programmes for the adaptation of African agriculture, especially as a concrete commitment for AU-EU and a sign that the AU-EU Partnership can be real and influence multilateral results.

7 Post harvest losses

Rabobank Foundation
Description coming soon


Image: © SNV

[> About "Join-up with African agripreneurs"

[> Programme day one 2018, Pre-event

[> Programme day two 2018, Conference

[> About the Workshops

[> Recommended Readings

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