In this issue
Parminder Vir OBE: “Agriculture presents extraordinary opportunities for young African entrepreneurs”
After a distinguished 30-year career as an award winning film and television producer and private equity investor in the industry, Parminder Vir accepted Tony Elumelu’s invitation to join the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). As CEO, among other projects, she has worked to launch the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme.
by Friday Phiri
Smallholder farmers are receiving tailored training and financial advice from a social enterprise that guarantees them a good market price for their seed. Expanding to work with over 5,000 small-scale farmers, the company is training a cohort of extension workers to help farmers profit from the international seed industry.
Responsible investments in the rural and agricultural economy, value chains and integrated markets play a crucial role in fostering economic growth, job creation and development in African countries. These critical issues have been the subject of recent meetings in Rome and will form a key component of the forthcoming EU-Africa summit to be held in November 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Recognition of the importance and vitality of secondary towns is very recent. These dynamic commercial hubs provide rural areas with markets and opportunities for young people, whilst urbanisation and stronger rural-urban linkages are offering new and value added markets for farmers and entrepreneurs in fresh and processed foods.
Two insurance products offered by the project, Climate Risk Adaptation and Insurance in the Caribbean, are creating space for financial certainty in an increasingly unpredictable climate.
by Sophie Reeve
Enterprise challenge funds in Africa are matching grant funding with agribusinesses that have the potential to grow and create impact for rural populations. By mitigating against market risk, challenge funds are boosting the development of investable and sustainable businesses.
Stakeholders in the Indian Ocean fisheries sector are collaborating to promote the sustainable management of marine resources and improve livelihoods for artisanal fishermen, facilitating their access to international markets and value adding processing technology.
by James Karuga
Kati Farms, a fish processing enterprise in Kampala, Uganda, produces a range of value-added niche products, including its well-known fish sausage, using farmed tilapia and catfish sourced from over 1,000 fish farmers. Since 2015, Kati Farms has also been exporting its innovative products across the continent.
by James Karuga
A low-cost, low-tech innovation measuring food dryness is preventing the development of mould in stored crops in Tanzania, and improving the quality and nutritional value of smallholder produce. In Cameroon, moisture-testing machines are enabling cocoa farmers to demand higher prices for their beans at the market.
Closing the gap in agricultural data available to smallholder farmers and financial institutions in developing countries is essential for the agricultural sector to build resilience and adapt to climate change. Without accurate farming and weather data, smallholder farmers struggle to prepare for unpredictable climate events and tend to prioritise managing risk over maximising revenues.
Zimbabwe’s mobile network, Econet Wireless, is providing farmers with micro-insurance to cover crops and inputs against damage due to poor weather. The EcoFarmer subscription platform offers farmers a package of mobile phone delivered services to increase their productivity and mitigate risk.
Side-selling – when individuals opt for short-term benefits at the expense of long-term collective goals – is a major obstacle to the efficient performance of agricultural cooperatives in Africa. An initiative led by CTA and partners is seeking to address the challenge by improving cooperative governance, aiming to increase farmers’ revenues and the sustainability of rural communities.