Grow Africa reaches out to the South African Agri-Business Community
The Grow Africa programme has embarked on a drive geared at reaching out to the South African agri-business community with the intention of establishing meaningful partnerships and raising its profile within the community. Over the past week, Grow Africa has met the leadership of the three significant organisations - the African Farmers Association of South Africa, the NEPAD Business Foundation as well as the Agricultural Business Chamber.
Mr Ibrahim Gourouza-Magagi, Grow Africa’s Head of West and Central Africa met with the President of the African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA), Dr Vuyo Mahlati on 11 September 2018. The meeting yielded positive outcomes, with the identification of areas of mutual interest and collaboration. Cross-border peer learning and skills transfer between farmers affiliated with AFASA and the Grow Africa value chains Multistakeholder Platforms (MSPs) in some African countries was identified as a key area of collaboration. Dr.Mahlati expressed the view that Grow Africa could provide AFASA with a platform to showcase investment opportunities along the value chains prioritised among their network of farmers such as beef, poultry and vegetables.
Grow Africa also met with the NEPAD Business Foundation on 13 September 2018. Since inception, the NBF has been active in developmental interventions in the agriculture sector within Southern Africa, therefore the meeting provided an opportunity for the Acting CEO Mr Peter Varndell to brief Grow Africa on the current activities the NBF is engaged in within the sector. Grow Africa and the NBF committed to finding linkages and isolating possible areas of cooperation such as raising funding to undertake business case studies along prioritized value chains. To formalise this partnership, both Grow Africa and the NBF will leverage of the existing Memorandum of Understanding between the NEPAD Agency and the NBF to further articulate specific areas of engagement.
The Agricultural Business Chamber (AgBiz), CEO, Dr John Purchase was excited to engage with Grow Africa and to gain a better understanding of its work in the area of mobilising private sector investment into African agriculture and the establishment of MSPs. Dr Purchase highlighted the pressing need to scale up such investments in order to contribute towards raising agricultural productivity on the continent. As a way forward, AgBiz committed to utilising its platform to profile Grow Africa amongst its affiliated members which include a wide range of large agricultural companies and financing institutions. Added to this both entities underscored the need of developing a framework of engagement that will concretise the partnership and also identify key areas of cooperation for mutual benefit.
Grow Africa continues the drive of engaging actors within the South African agri-business community and is set to meet with organisations including AgriSA and the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries.