The African Agri-indaba was recently held at the CTICC in Cape Town, South Africa. The African Agri Investment Indaba (AAII) is the global meeting place for agri investment in Africa. It welcomed 600 leaders in the agricultural economy from around the world and some 40 expert speakers in attendance, some 30 countries represented, 100 key investors from over 70 firms, and over 200 pre-scheduled meetings.
According to Western Cape MEC for Economic Opportunities Alan Winde, the African Agri Investment Indaba was the platform to strengthen the continent’s agriculture sector and identify investment and growth opportunities. Topics discussed over the course of the indaba include Africa’s role in global food security, improving the investment environment for African agriculture, boosting intra-regional trade to improve food security in North and West Africa, financing the food and agribusiness value chain, driving economies of scale to ensure sustainability and financing the agro-industrialisation revolution in Africa, amongst others.
Invest in the agricultural future-the youth
According to WInde, the African continent plays a big part in the future of agriculture. Not only is agriculture a strong form of job creation, it can greatly improve the continents economic growth. “Africa is poised to play a significant role in ensuring global food security, and we know we must embrace innovation and sustainable agriculture practices,” he argues.
The next move for governments and the private sector is to invest in the youth. Head of Western Cape Agriculture Joyene Isaacs stated that, “Agriculture must be on our agenda for economic development in Africa, for youth development in Africa and perhaps the world. But we need government or private sector to tell young people the opportunities available”. The focus on technology in agriculture means that we need innovative thinkers capable of maneuvering the digital environment. Isaacs continues by saying that “we need to inspire the next generation by demystifying what it means to farm or to be in Agriculture which is not necessary the same thing but we start at school. We start saying to young people women or men, maths and science is the way to go into agriculture. If you do well there, the world is your oyster and that is what you need to capitalise on”.
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