Smallholders to benefit from new agreement between ITC and AGRA (en)
The International Trade Centre (ITC) is expanding its support of African smallholders and agribusinesses to improve their productivity and incomes after signing an agreement with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). AGRA works across the continent to help millions of smallholder farmers, which make up 70% of Africa's population, to boost their farm productivity and incomes.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ITC and AGRA was signed on 5 September 2017 on the side-lines of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. In the MoU, ITC and AGRA agreed to jointly design and implement an agri-project to address bottlenecks in the development of pulses and edible oil sectors across Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique, with the objective of assisting one million farmers. While ITC will focus on markets and developing trade and investment opportunities, AGRA's interventions will primarily be at the farm level.
ITC's association with AGRA began in 2016 when Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa (SITA), a South-South trade and investment project funded by the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID), organized the first ever session on pulses at AGRF 2016 in Nairobi. Since its first event in 2010, AGRF has emerged as Africa's premier platform for global and African leaders to discuss and develop actionable plans that will drive the green revolution in Africa.
Commenting on the collaboration, Ms. Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director, ITC said: 'I am excited about this partnership and the possibilities it offers. There are clear complementarities between the capabilities and objectives of ITC, SITA and AGRA.
'AGRA's field experience and ITC's capabilities in analytics and marketing will come together to ensure scalability of sustainable agribusiness programmes in Africa. Moreover, besides SITA, agriculture forms a significant part of ITC's portfolio. Therefore, institutional collaboration between ITC and AGRA can facilitate joint activities in other projects as well.'
Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President, AGRA said that the partnership with ITC will help to multiply the impact of AGRA's efforts towards enhancing the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers as well ensuring nutritional security in sub-Saharan Africa.
AGRF 2017 was attended by more than 1,300 delegates and high-level dignitaries, including African heads of state, ministers of agriculture and finance, business leaders, NGOs, civil society, scientists, development partners and the next generation of African agripreneurs and leaders. The theme of the week-long forum was 'Accelerating the Path to Prosperity: Growing Inclusive Economies and Jobs through Agriculture'.
The forum saw the announcement of several concrete investments in agricultural businesses and the introduction of new and innovative approaches and partnerships to deliver programmes for better results.