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1 june 2018


1 Silent revolution – Organized farmers taking the lead


Farmers are no longer only cheap producers of commodities and a next generation cooperatives has shaken off the burden from the past and is in the lead of a transformation of rural areas. A “silent revolution” is taking place. One where entrepreneurial farmers and agri & food professionals are establishing competitive, market oriented cooperative companies to boost agricultural production and create off-farm employment, often under the radar of NGO’s or governments. This new generation realize they do not need to wait for external parties to provide development. Examples in Ethiopia and India clearly demonstrate that the moment farmers take development in their hands by hard work and investments with their own capital, things can change and the ambitions of the farming families can be achieved. These developments spur the structural transformation of the economy and -when done massively in modern, market-oriented cooperatives- boost economic growth and improve income distribution

This workshop aims to expose the experience of Mr Dejene Hirpa, deputy manager of Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union and former general manager of Becho Woliso Farmers Cooperative Union. Participants will be invited to analyze and discuss the Ethiopian case from six different angles:

* Differentiation among rural dwellers
* Environmental costs of rural poverty
* Revision sustainable development goals
* Youth and employment
* Investment in rural industrialization
* Role of cooperatives

Expected output:

* Clear policy recommendations to further enhance and support rural industrialization in Africa.
* Participants gained insights on features of next generation cooperatives.
* Opportunities for Dutch agri & food industry identified.

You are most welcome to this workshop if you are interested in concepts of structural transformation and rural transformation and how these are practically linked to agricultural development and off-farm employment. This workshop is especially interesting for farmers, agri & food industry, policy makers, students and knowledge institutes.


This workshop is organized by Agriterra, the Dutch agri-agency for cooperative business development. new generation is looking for role models and for new forms of farmer's co-operations, and is open to local partnerships.

2 Private sector coalitions to feed African cities



This workshop focuses on ways to increase investments of Dutch companies in Africa by matching up with local demand and partnering up with local companies. Previous activities of the Innovation Network Feeding Cities have shown that partnering up with local private sector in coalitions is a key entry point for Dutch agri-food, water and logistics companies into local markets where they have much to offer African private sector actors. Beyond their products and services, Dutch knowledge and skills to implement integrated solutions have the potential to address complex problems that arise in emerging African markets. Especially in large urban markets solutions that combine innovative technologies and knowledge on distribution, storage and logistics can be of real added value. But to succeed an in-depth understanding of local markets and food systems is necessary to match up with local demand.

During the workshop we will focus on how to get better insight in the complexities of local demand and scope for opportunities in African cities. African entrepreneurs will present their perspectives and their expectations of what the Dutch private sector can deliver. Panel members that all have inspiring stories to share will then discuss experiences with collaborative partnerships and enhancing entrepreneurship locally. 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.

Workshop programme

11.10 – 11.15 Opening remarks: Frans Verberne, Director of the Food & Business Knowledge Platform
11.15 – 11.35 Presentations: What do African entrepreneurs need? What do young entrepreneurs specifically need? What do they expect from the Netherlands?

  • Peter Muthee, CEO Latia Agribusiness Solutions Ltd
  • Second speaker to be confirmed

11.35 – 11.55 Panel discussion: Linking up with demand of local private sector actors as an entry point for private sector collaboration: Panel members (next to African speakers, panellists from agrifood sector, intermediary organizations and government)
11.55 – 12.15 Q&A, discussion with workshop participants
12.15 – 12.25 Presentation of booklet on private sector partnership intermediaries
12.25 – 12.30 Closing

Food & Business Knowledge Platform in close cooperation with MVO Netherland as initiators of Innovation Network Feeding Cities. Activities of the Network are organized in consultation with: BoP Inc/Business Accelerators, Topsector Agri&Food, Topsector Horticulture and Starting Materials, Holland Horti International, AgriProFocus, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), NL International Business (VNO-NCW en MKB-Nederland), Netherlands International Works (“De Werkplaats”), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.

3 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.

11:10 - Intro by Michael de Groot
11:15 - Presentation of research by Frank Bakx
11:30 - Presentation of research report to Hans Docter
11:35 - Pannel discussion in three rounds
12:20 - Wrapping up by Michael

4 Youth and agripreneurship

F&BKP, YEP, AgriProFocus

Food & Business Knowledge Platform, YEP and AgriProFocus will organize a workshop together during this conference, focusing on youth and agripreneurship. We would like to facilitate a session with a positive angle of approach, that 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 agri food challenges.  

Key note speaker

Presentation of the macro perspective of an expert of a big organisation/company that have programmes with youth as contributors of agricultural transformation as the target group.

Why youth? How youth? What are the successes (and perhaps fabulous failures)?

Objective: high profile speaker to give in-depth introduction, kick-start the discussion, trigger participants to join the workshop.

Youth caravan

Q&A about the micro perspective by youth/ young agripreneurs who successfully contribute to agricultural transformation. How did they do that? What obstacles did they face, and how did they overcome those? What makes them successful?

  • Possible speakers: YEPers, proportion foundation, entrepreneurs
  • Objective: to inspire the audience, showcase their businesses and to give advice to peers (or how to support them), give new perspectives to the case given by the keynote speaker.

11h10-11h20 Welcome + introduction to workshop
11h20-11h40 Keynote speaker
11h40-11h45 introducing the youth caravan
11h45-12h15 youth caravan (Q&A incl questions from audience)
12h15-12:20 Concluding remarks by experts
12:20 rounding-up

Sustainable food systems & agripreneurship: what role for the AU-EU Partnership and the Climate Funds?


Expected outcomes
Clarification of the debate and proposal of solutions by 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, and the AU-EU and global levels in support of agripreneurship

One key way to foster sustainability and variety in our food systems is supporting the production, marketing and consumption of more sustainable horticulture, i.e. neglected and underutilized species (NUS), given their better nutritional value and climate resilience and the increasing demand by consumers. Market systems, including certification & labelling, 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, can be game changers to achieve food security and sustainable food systems. In Africa, this would also contribute to integrating territories along the urban-rural continuum, linking all 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 the increasing food demand coming from urban areas, given the increasing purchasing power, and the resulting changing diets with higher consumption of high-value food products). Small entrepreneurs can indeed be protagonists of both SFS and Private Sector for Development, given their share within total population, sustainability of their farming and trading practices, their growth potential and proximity to expanding urban areas (compared to food imports). 

In an effort to inspire policy/practice linkages, and taking into account results of the recent Summits of AU and EU (e.g. in Abidjan),  this workshop will address all of the above and put forward a number of solutions, around: trade and investment cooperation between Europe and Africa; labels recognizing simultaneously the environmental-social-economic sustainability of traditional horticulture; use of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) 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. Traditional horticulture is only one aspect of SFS and CSA but will be used to illustrate the importance of being concrete -rather than rhetorical - when talking about CSA and SFS, and that there is a potential role for funds like the GCF to support sustainable agriculture in Africa.

Proposed panellists

  • Marcel Beukeboom, Dutch Climate Envoy
  • Ann Tutwiler, Director General of Bioversity International
  • Grammenos Mastrojeni, Italian MFA Coordinator for the Environment in Development
  • Representative of the Adaptation of African Agriculture Initiative
  • African company representative active in sustainable value chains (e.g. traditional horticulture)
  • Agricultural Counsellor of the Dutch Embassy in Kenya
  • Roberto Ridolfi, FAO Special Strategic Adviser for Investments and Financing Development

Additional support for this conference is provided by:

Image: © SNV

[> About "Team up with African agripreneurs"

[> Read the "Focus Document"

[> Programme pre-event Thursday 31 May 2018 (invitation only)

[> Programme conference Friday 1 June 2018

[> Recommended Readings

175 Participants

Elijah Adu Bediako | Abiola Adebayo | Jeleel Agboola | Anastasia Akerjiir | Oluwaseun Akinlade | Annette van Andel | Marco van Andel | Ton van Arnhem | Babs Ates-pijpstra | Thomas Awio | Nvenakeng Awung | Eelco Baan | Aji Badjan | Sjoerd Bakker | Adri Bakker | Frank Bakx | Olaoluwa Bamigboye | Christy van Beek | Mr Haruna Bello Haruna Eneyiyeh | Jolanda van den Berg | Prem Bindraban | Joan Boer | Gijs Boers | Carin Boersma | Karin Bokhove | Rojan Bolling | Albert Boogaard | Iris Bouwers | Hans Brand | Herman Brouwer | Hedwig Bruggeman | Simone de Bruijn | Gerrit Brummelman | Jamada Bwambale | Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko | Monique Calon | Shiela Chikulo | Prince Chisoro | Chris Claes | Luud Clercx | Laurens Coeveld | Jocelyne Commandeur | Hervé Degbey | Marijke De Graaf | Alemu Degwale | Domenico Dentoni | Maureen Duru | Abrhame Endrias Butta | Paul van Essen | Esther Ewaoluwagbemiga | Baptiste Forquy | Caroline Figueres | Connie Formson | Bas Gadiot | Jaap 't Gilde | Carol Gribnau | Ruud Grim | Hans Groen | Michael Hailu | Iris Heeremans | Bram van Helvoirt | Loek Hermans | Jan Hijkoop | Folake Idowu-adebayo | Saskia Ivens | N'sum-ne Jose Mora N'sum-ne | Mushagalusa Namegabe Janvier | Peter Jens | Ibrahim Jibrila | Mark Joenje | Joost de Jong | Nelson Kasadha | Lawrence Kehinde | Adjan Kesselaar | Daniel Kidane | Madelon Knop | Rubert Konijn | Wim Kuiper | Annewies Kuipers | Mariska Lammers | Hans Ligtenberg | Martin van der Linde | Rob Lubberink | Ndange Romeo Mbeh | Violanda de Man | Ellen Mangnus | Betty Masamba | Rosemary Olive Mbone Enie | Stanley Mbuagbaw | Monica Mbuthia | Gerrit Meester | Jennie van der Mheen | Ivan Mikulic | Pieter Minderhoud | Marilyn Minderhoud-jones | Ed Moerman | Pim Mol | Caroline van der Molen | Fredrick Mpaata | Pascal Murasira | Serki Musa Abayomi | Sally Musungu | Percy Chia Ntoh | Mirjam Niessen | Vanessa Nigten | Edmond Nsadhu | Gabrielle Nuijtens-vaarkamp | Paul Nyambe | Richard Obuku Richard | Richard Onyai | Peter Oosterveer | Prince Opoku Boateng | Kemas Osuji | Oyakhilomen Oyinbo | Freddy Padonou | Bram Peters | Christine Plaisier | Fedde Potjer | Dick Pouwels | Frederike Praasterink | Jet Proost | Foluke Quist-wessel | Sani Mohammed Rabiu | Melissa de Raaij | Francesco Rampa | Cees van Rij | Helene van der Roest | Eva Rootmensen | Edem Samtu | Samuel BUHAMIZO Samuel Buhamizo Nugade | Olukayode Amos Sogbesan | Giuseppe Saija | Philipp Sanderhoff | Muyinatu Sanusi | Dave Schilders | Rolf Schinkel | Sijmen Schoustra | Wendy Schutte | Honour Shumba | Godfrey Simiyu Katiambo | Sougrynoma Soré | Jeanette van de Steeg | Francois Stepman | Olanrewaju Suleiman | Rose Sumbeiywo | Harry Surminski | Norbert François Tchouaffe | Solomon Tiruneh Solomon Ali | Firehiwot Tadesse | Fabien Tondel | Steven Trijsburg | Sacha Tuitert | Maya Turolla | Jordania Valentim | Alvaro Valverde | Jeske Van Seters | Aafke Van Sprundel | Barbara Vankoppen | Kees Vandebraak | Frans Verberne | Jaap-jan Verboom | Carolina Verhoeven | Hugo Verkuijl | Freija Vermeer | Marinus Verweij | Oane Visser | Saskia Visser | Cito Gilbert Wakenge | Marieke de Wal | Geert Westenbrink | Walter aan de Wiel | Hussein Ahmed Wolle | Marnix Wolters | Okd Ytye Oojust | Ousseni Zongo |